Two Honduran Nationals Sentenced To Prison For Their Roles In Tax Refund Fraud Conspiracy
United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ronald A. Cimino of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced today that two men unlawfully residing in Louisiana were sentenced to prison for identity theft and tax fraud.
ARNULFO SANTOS-MEDRADO, 42, was sentenced to 38 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false income tax returns and for aggravated identity theft. In addition, MILLER PERDOMO-ACEITUNO, 22, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy to defraud the United States. Each defendant was further ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution and to serve one year of supervised release following their prison terms.
Both defendants have been detained since their arrest, and as Honduran nationals they face possible deportation following the completion of their sentences. They were charged with being part of a multi-jurisdictional conspiracy to file false income tax returns. To date, sixteen defendants have entered guilty pleas to various charges in the case, including JACQUELINE J. ARIAS, a tax return preparer in Spruce Pine, Alabama, who is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22, 2014.
According to the indictments in this case, the conspirators filed false returns listing Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a social security number. As alleged in the indictments, JACQUELINE J. ARIAS was a Certified Acceptance Agent, meaning that she was entrusted by the IRS with the responsibility of reviewing the documentation of an ITIN applicant’s identity and alien status for authenticity, completeness and accuracy before submitting their application to the IRS. The indictments charged that ARIAS and her coconspirators filed false applications for ITINs, in addition to false income tax returns, and that ARIAS collected preparation fees from the fraudulently-obtained tax refunds. According to the second superseding indictment, the conspirators purchased identification documents from overseas and Forms W-2 from other aliens illegally present in the United States for use in filing false income tax returns with ARIAS.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; IRS-Criminal Investigation; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, in partnership with the St. Tammany Parish, La. and Jefferson Parish, La. Sheriffs’ Departments. The case was prosecuted by Hayden Brockett and Kevin Lombardi of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Haller.