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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rochester Woman is Sentenced in Case Involving False Tax Returns

 

       ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that  Michelle Torres, 38, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,644,202.96 to the Internal Revenue Service by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who handled the case, stated that Torres engaged in a scheme with others that involved the filing of federal tax refund claims. Claims were filed using stolen identities and refund checks were issued to various addresses in Rochester. The defendant retrieved the checks and then sent them to co-conspirators in New York City in exchange for a fee. The conspiracy resulted in over $1.6 million in fraudulent tax refunds being issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

“This case shows the public the wide harm that identity fraud can bring,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Here, not only were people’s identities stolen, taxpayers were victimized to the extent of over 1.6 million dollars. For information on protecting your identity, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.”

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office.