Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Final Defendant Sentenced in Puerto Rican Identity Theft Ring
SHERMAN, Texas – A 33-year-old Houston man has been sentenced for his role in a Puerto Rican identity theft ring operating in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.
Luigi Montes pleaded guilty in July 2012 to conspiracy to submit false statements to the U.S. Postal Service and false claims to the Internal Revenue Service and was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison on June 28, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone. Montes was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $50,381 to the Internal Revenue Service.
According to information presented in court, Luigi admitted that he and his co-conspirators used false identities to obtain private mail boxes (PMBs) in East Texas and elsewhere and prepare false tax returns in the names of Puerto Rican citizens who had not authorized the tax returns listing the PMBs as locations for the fraudulent tax refund checks to be mailed. A federal indictment was returned in Mar. 15, 2012 charging Luigi and five others in the scheme.
Lupe Mendoza, 31, of Houston, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on Apr. 15, 2013 for conspiracy to make a false statement to the U.S. Postal Service and ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $31,270. Tania Estafania Aguilar Gomez, 25, of Dallas, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison on Feb. 15, 2013 and ordered to pay restitution of $22,268 to the IRS. Rosalba Gomez, 47, of Dallas, was sentenced to five months in federal prison on Feb. 15, 2013. David Gomez, 22, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison on Nov. 29, 2012. Joana Gomez, 50, of Balch Springs, Texas, was sentenced to five months in federal prison on Aug. 21, 2012.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Andrew Williams.