BOSTON – A New York man pleaded guilty today to theft of government property and money laundering in connection with a scheme to cash U.S. Treasury tax refund checks fraudulently obtained using the stolen identities of Puerto Rican residents.
Odalis Castillo-Lopez, 41, a citizen of the Dominican Republic and legal permanent U.S. resident, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to theft of government property and money laundering. According to the documents filed in the case, the criminal conduct involved the attempted negotiation of U.S. Treasury income tax refund checks obtained in the name of stolen identities.
For the theft of government property charge, the statutory maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The statutory maximum penalty for the money laundering charge is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Chief Judge Saris scheduled sentencing for May 30 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for Tax Division; William Offord, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Secret Service in Boston made the announcement today. Senior Litigation Counsel Corey J. Smith of the Justice Department’s Tax Division is prosecuting the case.