Five Individuals Indicted in California for Allegedly Stealing More Than $9 Million in Tax Refunds
A grand jury in the Northern District of California returned an indictment, which was unsealed today, charging five individuals with conspiring to submit fraudulent claims for tax refunds, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch for the Northern District of California. Two of the individuals were also indicted for bank fraud.
According to the indictment and information provided to the court, Jorge Vissani, Jacqueline Ramos a/k/a Jackie Acosta, Ana Bajo a/k/a Ana Cobraubias, Norma Morfin and Antonio Ahumada filed fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that included fake income, false dependents and bogus education expenses. As a result of filing these fraudulent returns, the defendants are alleged to have stolen more than $9 million in tax refunds. The indictment alleges that the defendants directed the IRS to send the refunds to addresses and bank accounts that they controlled. According to the indictment, they forged endorsements and cashed or deposited the refund checks at financial institutions and businesses in Northern California.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy count. Ramos and Ahumada also face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the bank fraud counts. They also face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Stretch thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Pitman and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.