United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Merced County Man Sentenced for False Tax Refund Scheme
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, December 10, 2012
Docket #: 1:11-cr-00340 AWI
FRESNO, Calif. — Planada resident Rafael Duran Garcia, 26, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to 11 months in prison for filing false claims for federal tax refunds, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
The court also ordered Garcia to pay $29,840 in restitution, which he has paid. He was taken into custody following the sentencing hearing today.
According to court documents, from September 2007 to April 2009, Garcia caused 121 false federal income tax returns to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service in the names of third parties in a scheme to obtain tax refund checks. The tax returns were submitted to the IRS with W-2 forms claiming false wage and withholding information.
Garcia had the refund checks sent to addresses that he had access to, or which he controlled, and also residences to which he had access. When he received the tax refund checks, he caused these checks to be presented to the IRS for payment through check cashing businesses. In some cases, a signature which purported to be that of the payee of the check was affixed to the back of the tax refund checks as an endorsement. Garcia made fraudulent claims for more than $186,000 in federal tax refunds. The Internal Revenue Service identified some of the returns as fraudulent, and in such cases no refund checks were issued. The IRS suffered an actual loss of approximately $29,840 due to the scheme.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Sherriff prosecuted the case.