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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Dominican National Convicted By Federal Jury Of Laundering Nearly $1 Million In Fraudulently-Obtained IRS Refund Checks

BOSTON – A Dominican national was convicted yesterday by a federal jury in Boston of laundering close to $1 million in fraudulently-obtained IRS refund checks using 11 different bank accounts at five different banks.

Francisco Oscar “Frank” Grullon, 52, was convicted following a six-day jury trial of one count of conspiracy, 15 counts of theft or conversion of United States property, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for July 24, 2019. Grullon was arrested in the Dominican Republic and extradited to the United States in 2018. 

Grullon conspired with an attorney R. David Cohen, who, in 2016, was convicted for his role in the scheme, to deposit and launder over 100 fraudulently-obtained tax refund checks. The checks were based on fraudulent tax returns with false W-2 information, usually using the name and Social Security number of a resident of Puerto Rico, where residents are not required to file federal income tax returns. Once the fraudulent returns were accepted by the IRS, refund checks were sent to addresses in Lawrence, East Boston and New York. 

From October 2011 until November 2013, Grullon and his co-conspirators obtained and negotiated close to $1 million in fraudulent checks into bank accounts in the name of a front company, AD Professional Association Inc., and in co-conspirator R. David Cohen’s attorney client trust accounts. When questioned by bank officials about the suspicious quantity of U.S. Treasury checks, Grullon falsely claimed that he was depositing them as a favor for friends and that he had a check-cashing license. Later, after their bank accounts were closed by several banks, Grullon and Cohen recruited a third co-conspirator and directed him to open accounts for AD Professional Association Inc., deposit more than $500,000 in treasury checks, and make hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash withdrawals. 

The charge of conspiracy provides a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the loss or gain from the offense. The charge of theft or conversion of U.S. property provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the loss or gain from the offense. The charge of money laundering provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. The case was also investigated by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Theodore Merritt and Elysa Q. Wan of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated April 30, 2019