Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
February 2, 2012
Former Buckeye Resident Indicted for Using Stolen Identities to Obtain Tax Refunds
Phoenix – Former Buckeye, Ariz., resident, Adrian Espiridion Lugo, 29, was arrested on January 24, 2012, in Pittsburgh, Pa., on identity theft and tax fraud charges. A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned an indictment on January 3, 2012, charging Lugo with using stolen identities to file false tax returns. The 104 count indictment, which was unsealed on January 30, 2012, following Lugo’s arrest, charges Lugo with one count of conspiracy, 34 counts of false claims, 34 counts of wire fraud, one count of transactional money laundering/aiding and abetting, and 34 counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, while a resident of Buckeye, Lugo operated a tax preparation business called Uncle Sam’s Tax Service. The indictment alleges that between 2008 and 2009, Lugo used stolen names and social security numbers of deceased individuals to file false tax returns that fraudulently claimed refunds. Further, Lugo allegedly had the fraudulent refunds delivered to him or deposited into accounts that he controlled. The indictment also alleges that Lugo filed approximately 34 income tax returns and claimed over $279,000 in Federal tax refund payments.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Lugo faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison for each false claims count, 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count, and a mandatory two-year sentence for each aggravated identity theft count, to run consecutive to any other sentence imposed. Lugo is also subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division. The prosecution is being handled by Raymond Woo, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-0008-PHX-NVW
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-023(Lugo)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az