Woman from American Samoa Sentenced for Filing Approximately 200 Fraudulent Tax Returns on Behalf of Other Individuals
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that an American Samoan woman has been sentenced in federal court for filing approximately 200 fraudulent tax returns on behalf of other individuals living in American Samoa seeking over $1 million in fraudulent returns.
Corina F. Ifopo, 54, of American Samoa, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to serve two years in prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Ifopo previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 12, 2017, to 28 counts of false claims to a government agency.
According to court documents, Ifopo became the subject of a federal investigation when the IRS fraud detection center identified approximately 200 tax returns claiming over $1 million in refunds that were fraudulently claimed by residents in American Samoa. These claims were linked with commonalities including a fictional post office box used by Ifopo, with some or all of the related funds being funneled through accounts linked to Ifopo.
The investigation revealed that, beginning in May 2014 and continuing to February 2016, Ifopo falsely claimed that the individuals lived in the United States, including Alaska, and falsely claimed that they were owed refunds when they were not. The false claims included listing false dependents, false withholdings, and claiming earned income credits when they were not applicable.
IRS Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward.