Florida Promoter of Tax Fraud Scheme Sentenced to More Than Two Years in Prison
For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Caused Tax Loss to IRS of over $1.15 Million
A Florida man was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for promoting a scheme to file false documents with the IRS to fraudulently obtain large tax refunds.
Rafael Ramos, of Orlando, pleaded guilty on Sept. 5 to conspiring to defraud the United States, filing a false tax return, and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. According to court documents and statements made in court, Ramos recruited clients and prepared tax returns on their behalf that falsely claimed banks and other financial institutions had withheld large amounts of taxes from the clients’ incomes, thereby entitling them to refunds from the IRS. To further the scheme, Ramos and his co-conspirators filed with the IRS false documents purporting to have been issued by banks to support the false withholding information reported on the returns.
When the IRS initiated proceedings to collect the fraudulently-issued refunds, Ramos held meetings with his clients and attempted to obstruct the IRS’s efforts by providing clients with frivolous correspondence to send to the IRS, instructing clients to falsely inform the IRS that they self-prepared their returns, and telling clients to move funds out of their bank accounts to avoid IRS levies. In total, Ramos’s scheme caused a tax loss to the IRS of over $1.15 million.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron ordered Ramos to serve two years of supervised release and to pay approximately $594,685 in restitution to the United States.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida and Tara K. Reed IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Acting Special Agent in Charge made the announcement.
IRS-CI investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Jeffrey McLellan, Ezra Spiro and Caroline Pearson of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.
Updated November 30, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-1346