Defendant sentenced to Nearly five years for role in tax fraud and drug conspiracies
U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Isaac Amparo-Vazquez, 30, also known as David Feliciano-Sanchez and Jesus Angel Quinones-Ortiz, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced in federal court Friday for his role in drug and tax fraud conspiracies. Amparo-Vazquez, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess to 57 months in prison to be followed by 4 years of supervised release.
According to court documents, Amparo-Vazquez conspired to import over two kilograms of cocaine into Alaska. Amparo-Vazquez also conspired to use stolen Puerto Rican identities to file tax returns and obtain fraudulent income tax refunds. Amparo-Vazquez admitted to making false applications to the Alaska DMV to obtain identification documents in other names.
In sentencing Amparo-Vazquez, Judge Burgess characterized the defendant’s crimes as “unconscionable.” The judge noted that not only did Amparo-Vazquez enter the United States illegally, but upon doing so, he helped import more than two kilograms of cocaine into Alaska. Then, as Judge Burgess stated, the defendant proceeded “to add insult to injury” by conspiring to “rip off” the United States Treasury for substantial sums of money. The United States estimates that the total loss intended by members of the conspiracy exceeded $25 million. Amparo-Vazquez was found personally responsible for cashing two Treasury checks totaling just over $11,000.
Court documents indicate that, between January 2010 and March 2012, Amparo-Vazquez and other co-conspirators defrauded the United States by filing false tax returns and claiming millions of dollars in tax refunds to which they were not entitled. To accomplish their tax refund scheme, the conspirators obtained the names and social security numbers of individuals from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. They then fabricated individual income tax returns in those names claiming that they were owed thousands of dollars in refunds to which they were not entitled.
According to documents filed by the United States, Amparo-Vazquez convinced certain of his friends and acquaintances to give him their addresses so that U.S. Treasury checks could be sent to the Anchorage area. Amparo-Vazquez also admitted that he obtained false identification documents from the Alaska DMV and then used these false identification documents to open a bank account, into which account he ultimately deposited a U.S. Treasury check with false endorsements. On those documents, he admittedly made false claims that he was a U.S. citizen, when in fact he was a Dominican citizen illegally in the United States.
Finally, Amparo-Vazquez admitted that, between December 31, 2011 and January 8, 2012, he conspired with his brother and others to arrange for two kilograms of cocaine to be shipped to Alaska for distribution. Amparo-Vazquez made telephone calls to discuss the prices to be paid for these two kilograms of cocaine.
“This sentencing is a testament to the results that can be obtained through the collaborative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” said Tamera D. Cantu, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation in Alaska. “IRS-CI and our partner agencies will continue to work vigorously to combat tax refund fraud. This sentence should serve as a deterrent to those that contemplate similar fraudulent actions.”
The case is being jointly prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas C. Bradley, James Barkeley, and Stephanie C. Courter of the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Additional assistance was provided by the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Southern District of New York.