FL: Brothers Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme Involving Students’ and Other Individuals’ Information

There’s an update to a case previously noted on this site.

Two North Miami brothers were sentenced for an identity theft tax fraud scheme involving students and other individuals’ personal identifying information. Rigo Octavio Lopez, 25, and Luis Daniel Lopez Morales, 19, were each sentenced to 48 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $49,902.

 

According to court documents, between January 31, 2014 and July 8, 2014, a total of 494 fraudulent income tax returns for tax year 2013 were filed with the IRS from the defendants’ home in North Miami. The fraudulent returns claimed approximately $237,092 in tax refunds.  The IRS paid out approximately $49,902 for the fraudulent returns.

On February 11, 2015, a federal search warrant was executed at the home of Lopez and Lopez Morales.  Federal agents recovered dozens of items containing personal identifying information (PII), including handwritten ledgers with account and PIN numbers, handwritten documents with names and dollar amounts, numerous pre-paid debit cards, lists from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, and printouts of “Student Information” from the Miami-Dade Public School system.  The school printouts contained the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of current or former Miami-Dade students.  Some of the PII listed in the printouts corresponded with fraudulent income tax returns that had been filed from the defendants’ residence.

Both Lopez and Lopez Morales admitted to law enforcement that they filed fraudulent income tax returns from their home.

SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida

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