U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 31, 2013
Two Charged in Federal Indictments for Alleged Embezzlement of Federal Tax Checks
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An investigation by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) has resulted in the federal indictment of two individuals from Providence, R.I., on charges of allegedly embezzling federal tax checks in excess of $1,000, and allegedly converting the funds for personal use, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of IRS-CI.
Elvy Gomez, 39, is charged with one count each of theft of government property, aggravated identity theft, fraudulent endorsement of United States Treasury checks, and money laundering. The indictment alleges that Gomez embezzled government tax checks totaling in excess of $1,000, and, without permission, used the identity of another person and that person’s bank account to deposit and withdraw funds that were fraudulently obtained. It is also alleged that Gomez used the bank account to wire $17,000 to the Dominican Republic, which had been derived from unlawful activity.
In an unrelated matter, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Leticia Gonzalez, 39, with one count of theft of government property. It is alleged that Gonzalez embezzled government tax checks totaling in excess of $1,000.
In addition, both defendants face forfeiture allegations of all properties which constitute, or are derived from, proceeds traceable to the embezzlement allegations.
“IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud, identity theft and related crimes a top priority," stated William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of IRS-CI. “Law enforcement is serious about investigating these crimes and holding to account those who would defraud the government.”
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defendants will appear in federal court on dates yet to be determined for arraignment. If convicted as charged, theft of government property, fraudulent endorsement of U.S. Treasury checks and money laundering are each punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison, followed by up to 3 years supervised release; and a fine of up to $250,000. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory sentence of two years in federal prison, followed by up to 3 years supervised release; and a fine of up to $250,000.
Agents from the U.S. Secret Service assisted in the investigation of these matters.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.