Convicted Of Tax Refund Check Scheme
Janette Perez, 32, of Philadelphia, was convicted late yesterday by a federal jury of all 13 charges stemming from a conspiracy which sought to steal over $1 million in fraudulent tax refund checks from the United States mail. She faces an advisory sentencing guideline range of 51 to 63 months when sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Berle M. Schiller on July 19, 2012.
Perez was partof an illegal enterprise involving the fraudulent use of Puerto Rican identities to file false tax returns claiming an entitlement to a refund. Using the stolen identities of residents of Puerto Rico, Perez caused false tax returns to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service which generated bogus tax refund checks. In all, Perez caused to be filed approximately 182 false tax returns claiming $1,051,345 in fraudulent refunds.
Perez operated Arturo Rojas Multiservice, Inc. (“ARM”), which was located at 1417 East Lycoming Street, Philadelphia, and 147 West Dauphin Street, Philadelphia. Her co-defendant, Latasha Jackson, was a former United States Postal Service letter carrier. Jackson stole the tax refund checks from the United States mail and gave them to co-defendant Jose Rivera. Rivera delivered the stolen refund checks to Perez, who made cash payments to Rivera and Jackson in exchange for the checks. Jackson and Rivera pleaded guilty to their involvement in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing.
The scheme began in January 2011 with Rivera providing Perez with addresses of his family members and associates. Perez directed and paid Rivera to retrieve the tax refund checks that arrived at the locations. On multiple occasions in or around January and February 2011, in exchange for cash payments, Rivera retrieved the fraudulent tax refund checks from addresses of his family and associates, which he then provided to Perez.
The case was investigated by, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the United States Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise S. Wolf and Trial Attorney David I. Sharfstein, a Tax Division Attorney detailed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525