Former Mayor of Hialeah and Wife Charged with Tax Fraud
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael J. DePalma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Alysa Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, announced the indictment of Julio Robaina, 48, and his wife, Raiza Villacis Robaina, 39, both of Hialeah, for criminal tax offenses and making false statements to federal agents.
The indictment charges both defendants with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States for the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the Internal Revenue Service in the ascertainment, computation, assessment, and collection of federal income taxes, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and two counts of making and subscribing false tax returns, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). In addition, the indictment charges Julio Robaina with two counts of making false representations to federal agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2). The indictment also charges Raiza Villacis Robaina with one count of making a false representation to federal agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2).
According to the indictment, the manner and means by which the defendants sought to defraud the United States included conducting financial transactions in a manner that would conceal their true nature, concealing information from their tax return preparer, subscribing to false tax returns, and making false representations to federal agents. The indictment alleges that both defendants subscribed to personal income tax returns that falsely understated their total income and that defendant Julio Robaina also subscribed to corporate income tax returns that falsely overstated losses incurred. The indictment specifically alleges that the defendants subscribed to false personal income tax returns for tax years 2005 through 2007 and that Julio Robaina subscribed to false corporate income returns for tax years 2005 through 2007. Julio Robaina served as the mayor of Hialeah from December 2005 until May 2011.
United States Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Our citizenship comes with many privileges, but also with attendant duties and responsibilities. Among those duties, each of us -- regardless of station or position – is required to pay our fair share of taxes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to enforce our nation’s tax laws so that honest taxpayers are not burdened by others’ failure to meet their tax obligations.”
“The tax system is built on the premise that taxpayers file accurate tax returns,” said Michael J. DePalma, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office. “No one is above the law and those who willfully violate our nation's tax laws will be held accountable for their actions.”
Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, ICE-HSI, stated, “Elected officials and people in positions of trust are held to an even higher standard than the general public. Investigative efforts by HSI alongside our partners at the IRS to uncover this alleged tax fraud scheme highlight the collaborative effort within federal law enforcement to ensure that no one operates above the law.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and ICE-HSI. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Miami-Dade Police Department and the City of Miami Police Department for their assistance on the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Gregorie and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Davis.
An indictment is only an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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.