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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Two Honduran Nationals Sentenced For Conspiring To File False Claims For IRS Refunds


RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt, sentenced MARDOQUEO MEJIA FAJARDO and JORGE ERNESTO TINOCO to more than 4 years incarceration and ordered them to pay restitution of approximately $1.4 million to the United States Department of Treasury for their participation in a conspiracy to file false claims for IRS refunds.        

According to the charging document, both these men are citizens of the Republic of Honduras and were illegally residing in the United States.  From June 2011 to March 2013, FAJARDO and TINOCO conspired with others to defraud the United States by filing fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.  These returns were filed under the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number program, which was initiated for resident and nonresident aliens to file returns and pay the taxes they owed.  The returns filed by members of this conspiracy were fictitious.  Wage and tax statements were fabricated to make it appear that the named taxpayers worked for legitimate companies, earning income and paying taxes.  The refund checks were directed to Post Office boxes in eastern North Carolina that were opened in the name of fictitious individuals with fraudulent forms of identification.

IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Jeannine A. Hammett said, “We are committed to the pursuit of those who undermine the federal tax system by filing fraudulent returns claiming refunds.  These two defendants sought to enrich themselves by essentially stealing from all of us who pay our taxes honestly.”

This was a joint investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Susan Menzer is prosecuting the case for the government.

Updated July 16, 2015