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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lawrence Man Arrested for Receiving $146,000 in Stolen Tax Refund Checks

BOSTON – A Lawrence man was arrested today on charges that he received stolen U.S. Treasury checks.

Rolfi Espinal, 49, was indicted on 24 counts of receipt of stolen public money and ­­two counts of making false statements. 

The indictment alleges that from approximately September to December 2011, Espinal accepted fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks totaling $146,698.  In January 2013, Espinal falsely told federal agents that he received the checks as payment for used cars that he had sold to an individual, when, in fact, the individual did not exist and Espinal knew that the checks were obtained fraudulently.  Furthermore, Espinal allegedly told the agents that he paid taxes on the income although he only paid taxes on $34,000 in gross receipts. 

The charge of receipt of stolen public moneys provides for a sentence of no more than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of making false statements provides for a sentence of no more than five years in prison, two years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Boston; and Lisa A. Quinn, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit. 

The details contained in charging document are allegations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated February 4, 2016