Four Conspirators Indicted in Chicago-Based Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
A federal grand jury sitting in Chicago, Illinois, returned an indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, charging four Chicago-area residents with conspiracy to commit theft of government money, wire fraud, theft of government money, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois.
The indictment charges Roxann Gist, Dominique King, Nellyvette Mojica and Rosa Alverio, with conspiracy to commit theft of government money. Gist and King also are charged with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud. Mojica and Alverio also are charged with theft of government money.
According to the indictment, Gist and King used the means of identification of other individuals without their knowledge and consent in order to prepare and file false tax returns that claimed large tax refunds. The refund checks were mailed to addresses in the Chicago area or electronically deposited into bank accounts controlled by the defendants and others. After Mojica and Alverio received a number of the fraudulent refund checks into accounts under their control, they split the proceeds with Gist and King. From 2012 to 2015, the defendants and others received in excess of $1.3 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
If convicted, the defendants each face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count. Gist and King also face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud, 10 years in prison for access device fraud and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft, which must run consecutive to any other sentence imposed by the court. Mojica and Alverio also face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the theft of government money counts. In addition, the defendants face potential fines, forfeiture and restitution.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Ryan R. Raybould and Timothy M. Russo of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.