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Friday, August 19, 2022

Brooklyn Hospital Dietician Indicted for Fraudulent Refund Scam

A New York woman was arrested today, following an indictment returned by the grand jury earlier this week charging her with filing false tax returns, obstructing the IRS, and willful failure to file tax returns.

According to the indictment, Ehrenfriede Kauapirura, of Brooklyn, filed a false 2015 amended tax return and a false 2016 tax return. On both returns, Kauapirura allegedly reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in fictitious tax withholdings, which purportedly entitled her to refunds of approximately $250,000 for each year. After allegedly determining that Kauapirura’s claims were fraudulent, the IRS began a collections proceeding to recoup the refunds paid out to Kauapirura. To thwart the IRS’s collection efforts, Kauapirura allegedly transferred money from her personal bank account to a bank account owned by a trust that she controlled. Kauapirura also allegedly submitted a bogus $1 million check drawn on a non-existent bank as payment of her tax obligations. In addition, Kauapirura allegedly did not timely file individual tax returns with the IRS for the years 2017 through 2020.

If convicted, Kauapirura faces up to three years in prison for each count of filing false tax returns, three years in prison for obstructing the IRS, and one year in prison for each of four counts of willful failure to file a tax return. 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, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York and Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins Sarah of IRS-Criminal Investigation made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

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

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Press Release Number: 
Updated August 19, 2022