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former denver woman appears on charges related to aggravated identity theft

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2014

 

DENVER - Libia Hernandez-Garcia, age 60, of Miami, Florida, formerly of Denver, Colorado, appeared yesterday on charges related to aggravated identity theft and tax fraud, visa fraud and social security fraud, federal authorities announced.  Hernandez-Garcia was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on May 21, 2013, which remained sealed until her arrest in Miami, Florida on February 26, 2014.  A superseding indictment was filed on February 25, 2014.  She made her initial appearance yesterday, April 16, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix, where she was advised of her rights and the charges pending against her.  Her indicted co-conspirator, Diana Aleph Aguilar Hernandez, made her initial appearance on March 13, 2014, on one count of visa fraud. 

According to the charging documents, from 2009 through 2011, Hernandez-Garcia made five false claims against the Internal Revenue Service which she knew to be false by preparing and filing federal income tax returns for several individuals where the claims for income tax refunds were fraudulent.  Furthermore, for her personal 2009 through 2011 federal income tax returns, she submitted false claims for federal income tax returns totaling over $16,000.

From 2009 through 2012, Hernandez-Garcia misused the Social Security Number (SSN) of several individuals by causing the filing of individual income tax returns which falsely included the name and SSN, as a dependent, for the person identified as the filer of the tax return. By misusing the SSN in such a manner, Hernandez-Garcia further allegedly committed aggravated identity theft.

From 2008 through 2011, Hernandez-Garcia assisted in the preparation and filing with the IRS the U.S. Individual Income Tax Return of her husband for tax years 2007 through 2010 which were materially false and fraudulent. Particularly, dependents were claimed on her husband’s tax returns when in fact the dependents were not a person who could lawfully be claimed as a dependent of his. 

Furthermore, on two separate occasions, one in 2008 and the second in 2011, Hernandez-Garcia made false statements under penalty of perjury in Petitions for a Nonimmigrant Worker packages.  Such statements included: the beneficiary of the H-1B visa petition, Diana Aleph Aguilar Hernandez, would be employed by a local hotel operating under a national brand name as Operations Manager; Libia Hernandez was an authorized official to make such a petition on behalf of that hotel; that Libia Hernandez was authorized by that hotel to act on behalf of the company in labor certification matters; and the rate of pay for the beneficiary would be $51,000 and $35,425 a year, respectively.

Hernandez-Garcia was charged with; two counts of visa fraud, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 per count; five counts of false claims, which carries a penalty of not more than 5 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, per count; thirteen counts of misuse of a SSN, which carries a penalty of not more than 5 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, per count; six counts of aggravated identity theft claims, which carries a penalty a mandatory 2 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, per count; four counts of aiding in a false tax return, which carries a penalty of not more than 3 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $100,000, per count. 

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), and Office of the Inspector General – Social Security Administration (SSA OIG). 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Brown.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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