Bridgeport Man Pleads Guilty To Role In Fraudulent Federal Tax Refund Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that CARLOS MATEO, 45, of Bridgeport, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of theft of government property stemming from his role in a fraudulent federal tax refund scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between November 2011 and February 2012, MATEO obtained fraudulent U.S. Treasury tax refund checks, ranging in amounts of approximately $4,000 to $8,150, which were addressed to different individuals with mailing addresses in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Florida. All of the Social Security Numbers used for the tax returns involved in the scheme belong to Puerto Rican citizens. MATEO provided the checks to Jeovany Rios, who cashed the checks at GE Credit Union branches in Bridgeport, Milford and Danbury with the assistance of Angel Castellano, a teller at the credit union. Rios then returned some of the cash to MATEO after taking a portion for himself and Castellano.
In total, MATEO provided Rios with 21 fraudulent tax refund checks totaling $137,860.70.
MATEO is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on June 20, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Rios, 39, and Castellano, 26, both of Bridgeport, previously pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala V. Nagala.
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