Citizen of the Dominican Republic Guilty for Role in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that a federal jury in Bridgeport has found AMAURY VLADIMIR REYES-BATISTA, 43, a citizen of the Dominican Republic residing in New Britain, guilty of multiple charges related to his involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme. The trial before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill began on June 10 and the jury returned its verdict late yesterday.
According to court documents, statements made in court and the evidence introduced during the trial, this matter stems from an investigation into individuals who, through various means, obtained fraudulent U.S. Treasury tax refund checks using stolen identities. The investigation revealed that Reyes-Batista and an associate obtained, on the black market, federal tax refund checks that were fraudulently obtained in the names of other persons. Reyes-Batista then deposited the checks into a bank account controlled by his associate. In January 2012, Reyes-Batista deposited 21 refund checks totaling approximately $124,000 at TD Bank branches in New Britain, Berlin and Southington.
Reyes-Batista was arrested on February 3, 2015. At the time of his arrest, he provided a false name, date and place of birth, and Social Security Number to law enforcement. The identifying information Reyes-Batista provided belonged to an individual living in Puerto Rico.
The jury found Reyes-Batista guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public money, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years; eight counts of theft of public money, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count, and one count of making false statements to law enforcement, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Reyes-Batista was found not guilty of 13 additional counts of theft of public money.
Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for September 4, 2019.
Reyes-Batista was detained from the date of his arrest until April 19, 2018, when he was released on a $100,000 bond.
The investigation revealed that Reyes-Batista was removed to the Dominican Republic in 1996 after sustaining a conviction in New York state court for attempted heroin distribution. He illegally returned to the U.S. in 1999.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.
Updated June 13, 2019