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Press Release

Brooklyn Hospital Dietician Found Guilty of Filing False Tax Returns and Obstructing the IRS

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Caused IRS to Pay Nearly $500,000 in Fraudulent Refunds

A federal jury convicted a New York woman today of filing and aiding in the filing of false tax returns, obstructing the IRS and willfully failing to file tax returns.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ehrenfriede Kauapirura worked at a Brooklyn hospital as a dietician. Kauapirura filed a false amended 2015 tax return and a false original 2016 tax return. On both returns, Kauapirura reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in fictitious tax withholdings that she used to claim refunds of approximately $250,000 for each year, which the IRS paid her.

The evidence at trial proved that after determining that Kauapirura’s claims were fraudulent, the IRS began collection activity to recoup the funds it paid her. To thwart the IRS’s collection efforts, Kauapirura transferred money from her personal bank account to a bank account that she controlled held in the name of a purported trust. Kauapirura also submitted a bogus $1 million dollar check drawn on a non-existent bank as payment of her tax obligations.  In addition, Kauapirura did not file individual tax returns with the IRS for the years 2017 through 2020, despite earning substantial income from her job at the hospital.

Kauapirura is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2024, and faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for each false return and obstruction count and one year in prison for each count of willful failure to file a tax return. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Kenneth C. Vert and Michael C. Vasiliadis of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

Updated December 7, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-1389