Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division Kathryn Keneally and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California announced that Noemi Rubio Baez, of Salinas, Calif., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false claims for tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to aggravated identity theft.
According to the plea agreement, beginning around Feb. 28, 2008 and continuing through April 16, 2012, Baez and a co-conspirator participated in a scheme to obtain and to help others obtain false claims from the IRS by electronically filing in her own name, and in the names of others, false federal income tax returns. Baez and her co-conspirator created false income information in the names and Social Security numbers of multiple individuals, and filed materially false tax returns with the IRS claiming refunds derived from tax credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the Making Work Pay Credit.
According to court documents, in some instances, the taxpayers requested the returns be prepared, but in others the taxpayers did not provide Baez or her co-conspirator with their personal identification information and were unaware that the returns had been filed in their names. Baez and her co-conspirator filed more than 150 false and fraudulent claims unlawfully seeking more than $400,000 in tax refunds.
At the time of her sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 23, 2014, before U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen, Baez faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000.
Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag thanked special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Charles O’Reilly, Erin S. Mellen and Sonia M. Owens, who are prosecuting the case.