New York Man Pleads Guilty in Massachusetts to Theft of Government Property and Money Laundering in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
Odalis Castillo-Lopez, 41, a citizen of the Dominican Republic and a resident of New York, pleaded guilty today to theft of government property and money laundering in connection with a scheme to cash U.S. Treasury tax refund checks fraudulently obtained using the stolen identities of Puerto Rican residents. The guilty plea was announced by the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service.
At a hearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris in the District of Massachusetts, Castillo pleaded guilty to theft of government property and money laundering. According to the documents filed in this case, the criminal conduct involved the attempted negotiation of U.S. Treasury income tax refund checks obtained in the name of stolen identities. Castillo faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the theft of government property charge, and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 for the money laundering charge. Sentencing is scheduled for May 30, 2013.
This investigation was conducted jointly by IRS-CI, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service in Boston. The prosecution is being handled by Senior Litigation Counsel Corey J. Smith of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.