Three Miami-Dade Residents Charged in Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Using Stolen Identities of Foreign Nationals
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, announced the filing of an indictment against defendants Christian Andres Perin, 40, of Miami, Florida, Venancio Oscar Pio, 52, of Doral, Florida, and Olga Rosana Garcia, 46, of Miami, Florida, for their participation in a tax refund scheme using stolen identities of foreign nationals.
The indictment charges each of the defendants with one count of conspiracy to submit false claims to the IRS, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286. Defendant Perin is also charged with seven counts of stealing tax refund checks, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.
According to the charges, defendant Perin obtained identity documents of foreign nationals from individuals living outside of the United States. Defendant Pio allegedly created false Forms W-2, W-7, and 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns with fictitious employer information, income, and withholding amounts. Defendant Garcia is alleged to have mailed the fraudulent Forms W-2, W-7, and 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns to the IRS to obtain the tax refunds. The tax refunds were directed into bank accounts or mailboxes controlled by Perin and Garcia. Perin and Garcia then collected the checks, deposited the checks in bank accounts, and later withdrew the money.
If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison on the conspiracy count, and defendant Perin faces up to 10 years in prison for each count of stealing tax refund checks.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, ICE-HSI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt K. Lunkenheimer.
An indictment is only an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.