California Woman Sentenced in Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme
U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen sentenced Noemi Rubio Baez, of Salinas, Calif., to serve 30 months in prison for her involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme, Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally for the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California announced that today. Baez was also ordered to serve three years supervised release and to pay $703,536.86 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Baez pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2013, to conspiring to file false claims for tax refunds with the IRS and to aggravated identity theft.
According to the plea agreement, beginning around Feb. 28, 2008, and continuing through April 16, 2012, Baez and a co-conspirator participated in a scheme to obtain and help others to obtain false claims from the IRS by electronically filing false federal income tax returns in her own name and in the names of others. Baez and her co-conspirator created false income information in the names and Social Security numbers of multiple individuals, and filed materially false tax returns with the IRS that claimed refunds derived from tax credits including the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Making Work Pay Credit.
According to court documents, in some instances, the taxpayers requested the returns be prepared, but in others, the taxpayers did not provide Baez or her co-conspirator with their personal identification information and were unaware that the returns had been filed in their names. Baez and her co-conspirator filed more than 150 false and fraudulent returns with false claims totaling more than $400,000.
Assistant Attorney General Keneally and U.S. Attorney Haag thanked special agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Charles O’Reilly, Erin S. Mellen and Sonia M. Owens for the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.