Two Massachusetts Men Indicted in Massive Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Scheme
A federal grand jury sitting in Boston returned an indictment yesterday, which was unsealed today, charging two Massachusetts residents with conspiracy to defraud the United States, theft of government property, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts, and Special Agent in Charge William Offord of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Boston Field Office.
Furvio Flete-Garcia, 42, and Juan Santiago, 36, both of Lawrence, Massachusetts and nationals of the Dominican Republic, are alleged to have participated in a scheme to prepare and file fraudulent federal income tax returns using stolen identities for the purpose of obtaining U.S. Treasury tax refund checks. According to the indictment, during 2013 and 2014, Flete-Garcia and Santiago possessed more than 800 names and social security numbers of U.S. citizens including Puerto Rican residents, which Santiago sold to another individual for the purpose of using those identities to prepare and file fraudulent federal income tax returns. The indictment further alleges that Flete-Garcia and Santiago sold more than 16 U.S. Treasury tax refund checks with a total face value of more than $100,000 to the same individual. These tax refund checks were issued by the IRS as a result of the fraudulent income tax returns that were filed using the stolen identities.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo, U.S. Attorney Ortiz and Special Agent in Charge Offord thanked agents of IRS-CI, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Secret Service and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, who investigated the case and Senior Litigation Counsel Corey J. Smith of the Tax Division, who is prosecuting the case.