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Press Release

Delaware Woman Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. – Linda M. Avila, 50, of Frankford, DE, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to obtain payment for false claims and mail fraud.

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal; and Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C.; made the announcement after Avila’s guilty plea was accepted by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Linda Avila and unindicted co-conspirators devised a scheme to file false income tax returns using forms obtained from illegal aliens on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and elsewhere.   Avila altered the W-2 forms by using white out to cover up the names, social security numbers, and addresses and then wrote in other names and addresses and filed the fraudulent returns.  The addresses listed were for post office boxes and residential addresses that she had access to.  After she received the checks, she provided fake identification documents to the conspirators so they could cash the checks.   An arrest warrant and search warrant were executed at her home in Delaware and agents seized approximately 17 boxes of fraudulent tax records.  Templates for fraudulent W-2 forms and identification documents were also found on her computer.  The records included copies of approximately 1,754 tax returns filed between 2008 and 2014 for tax years 2004 through 2013.  The total loss to the IRS based on the fraudulent returns is approximately $7.2 million.

A Norfolk federal grand jury indicted Avila on July 25, 2014 on charge of conspiracy to make false claims, false claims against the United States and mail fraud.  She is scheduled to be sentenced on February 17, 2015 and faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Randy Stoker is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.   

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:14-cr-108.

Updated March 26, 2015