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Press Release

Dominican National Sentenced for Tax Refund Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

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

BOSTON – A Dominican national was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for participating in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme that filed fraudulent federal income tax returns claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds.

Junior Alberto Lopez, 32, a Dominican national residing in Dorchester, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $242,000. Lopez will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In June 2017, Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of false claims conspiracy, three counts of access device fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Lopez was originally arrested in April 2015, but fled to the Dominican Republic shortly after his release on bail.  Lopez was re-arrested in the Dominican Republic in December 2016 and extradited to the United States in March 2017.

Between May 2011 and February 2013, Lopez and at least two co-conspirators unlawfully obtained the names, addresses and dates of birth of more than 700 residents of Puerto Rico and elsewhere.  They created and filed false income tax returns for 2010, 2011, and 2012, claiming refunds on behalf of those identity fraud victims.  Lopez and his co-conspirators directed the IRS to issue tax refund checks and to deposit tax refunds onto prepaid debit cards, which were delivered to addresses in Boston and elsewhere that the conspiracy controlled.  Lopez and his co-conspirators cashed and redistributed the checks and debit cards.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance in securing Lopez’s extradition to the United States. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto of Weinreb’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.


Updated September 19, 2017

Identity Theft