So the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York issued a press release on December 20 describing how 6 men were indicted for their roles in three tax refund fraud schemes. The three schemes resulted in more than 11,000 false income tax returns seeking refunds up to $73 million.
According the indictments and other court filings by the government, in each scheme the defendants exploited tax laws that exempt Puerto Rican citizens from filing federal income tax returns provided they derive their incomes solely from sources within the Commonwealth. The defendants, and coconspirators, illegally obtained identification information for Puerto Rican citizens, including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, and used that information to file false returns claiming large refunds with the IRS. Once filed, the defendants, and their coconspirators, allegedly bribed Postal Service employees to intercept mailed tax refund checks, which the defendants then negotiated at check-cashing services.
The cases are:
United States v. Luis Aquino and Johans Cabrera, 12-CR-769 (DRH)
United States v. Randy Fernandez, Ancelmo Rodriguez and Carlos Soto, 12-CR-654 (JS)
United States v. Michael Figat, 12-CR-308 (S-1)(SJF)
How did they obtain the Puerto Ricans’ identity information, you wonder? I have no clue, because once again, they don’t tell us – either in the press release or in the court filings.
Is this information being kept out of public records so as not to interfere with other investigations or are they not asking the question? I wish I knew.