Two Miami-Dade Residents Charged in Tax Preparation Fraud Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. DePalma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced the filing of a 30-count indictment charging defendants Rigoberto Cabrera, 37, and Carlos Perez, 34, both of Miami-Dade County, in a tax preparation fraud scheme. Defendant Perez had his initial appearance on May 16, 2013 in Ft. Lauderdale before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton. Defendant Cabrera is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in Ft. Lauderdale before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry S. Seltzer.
Specifically, each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 286; and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1349. Defendant Cabrera is also charged with 18 counts of making false claims to the IRS, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 287; four counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1343; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1956(h); and four counts of money laundering, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(i). Defendant Perez is charged with 11 counts of making false claims to the IRS, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 287; and two counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1343.
According to the indictment, defendants Cabrera and Perez recruited individuals and offered to prepare their individual income tax returns with the promise that the defendants could obtain substantial tax refunds for the taxpayers. The recruited taxpayers agreed to pay Cabrera and Perez a percentage of the refunds they received. The defendants then prepared fraudulent 2008 and 2009 federal income tax returns on behalf of the recruited taxpayers, claiming tax credits or deductions to which the taxpayers were not entitled. After the taxpayers received the fraudulent refunds from the IRS, Cabrera and Perez collected a percentage of the funds from the taxpayers through checks payable to companies that the defendants controlled and shell companies.
Through this scheme, the defendants claimed approximately $1,458,905 in tax refunds from the IRS.
If convicted, the defendants face up to ten years in prison for each count of conspiracy to defraud the government, making false claims, and conspiracy to commit money laundering; and up to twenty years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Bernstein and Alejandro O. Soto.
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.