News and Press Releases

Former CEO of Miami Lakes Tax Preparation Business Sentenced for Structuring Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2014

Wifredo A Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that Carlos Rodriguez, 40, of Miami Lakes, was sentenced today to 22 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

Rodriguez previously pled guilty to one count of structuring financial transactions with the intent to evade currency reporting requirements, in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Sections 5324(a)(3) and 5324(d)(2). Rodriguez is the former Chief Executive Officer of Rodri Rodri & Associates (Rodri), formerly located in Miami Lakes.

According to court documents and statements, financial institutions are required to report cash transactions in amounts over $10,000.00 to the IRS. From on or about January 4, 2012 through on or about March 22, 2012, Rodriguez was the Chief Executive Officer of Rodri, a tax preparation business. During that time, the defendant cashed or had cashed Rodri business checks in amounts under $10,000.00 at JPMorgan Chase Bank with the intent to evade the currency transaction reporting requirements of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5313(a). Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the amount of money involved in the structuring violations was between $400,000 and $1 million.

According to the evidence, the tax return preparation part of the business was supervised by the defendant’s late wife Jennifer Rodriguez. The defendant was primarily responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business such as paying employees, collecting fees for the preparation of tax returns, paying business expenses, and handling customers with questions, concerns, or complaints. Nonetheless, many of the tax returns prepared by Rodri were fraudulent and contained false credits, such as education and fuel credits that the taxpayers otherwise were not entitled to have. The structured cash was used to provide cash, for a fee, to taxpayer clients in exchange for their inflated tax refunds.

As further stated in court and in court documents, the proceeds generated by the tax preparation business are traceable to the purchase of the properties listed in the indictment, including a couple of parcels of real property. According to the plea agreement, Rodriguez agreed to forfeit said properties to the United States.

As further stated in the plea agreement, Rodriguez agreed to cooperate with the IRS in its civil examination, determination, assessment, and collection of income taxes related to the defendant’s 2009 through 2012 income tax returns and any related corporate tax returns, and further agreed not to conceal, transfer, or dissipate funds or property that could be used to satisfy such taxes, penalties, and interest.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elijah A. Levitt.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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