News and Press Releases

Three Miami-Dade Residents Sentenced for Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Using Stolen Identities of Foreign Nationals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Antonio J. Gomez, Acting Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, announced that defendants Christian Andres Perin, 40, of Miami, Venancio Oscar Pio, 52, of Doral, and Olga Rosana Garcia, 46, of Miami, were sentenced yesterday for their participation in a tax refund scheme using stolen identities of foreign nationals. Defendant Perin was sentenced to 87 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Defendants Pio and Garcia were each sentenced to 70 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. The defendants were also ordered to pay restitution of $1,146,745.24.

Each of the defendants previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to submit false claims to the IRS, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286. Defendant Perin also pled guilty to two counts of stealing tax refund checks, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

According to court documents, Perin obtained identity documents of foreign nationals from individuals living outside of the United States. Pio, in exchange for payment, would then send the identity documents to another individual outside the United States who would manufacture false tax claim Forms W-2, W-7, and 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns with fictitious employer information, income, and withholding amounts. Garcia and other co-conspirators mailed the fraudulent Forms W-2, W-7, and 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns to the IRS to obtain 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.

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.

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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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