Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New York Man Sentenced To Prison In Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme

In the Eastern District of North Carolina, a New York resident was sentenced to serve 46 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. 

 According to court documents, Elias Amador was involved in a large-scale fraudulent tax refund scheme using the stolen identities of Puerto Rican citizens. Tax fraud schemes sometimes use Puerto Rican Social Security numbers because individuals living in Puerto Rico are generally not required to file income tax returns. Consequently, these individuals are not alerted if someone uses their personal information to file fraudulent income tax returns.

From approximately 2010 to 2012, Amador and others conspired to cash more than $750,000 in refund checks generated by fraudulent tax returns. Amador obtained the refund checks, which were issued to addresses in New York and New Jersey, and cashed them using a runner and two check cashers in North Carolina. Amador’s three co-conspirators previously were convicted and sentenced to prison. 

In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan also ordered Amador to serve 3 years of supervised release and to pay $762,217 in restitution to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Lauren Archer of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina for their assistance.

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
Updated December 11, 2018