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Press Release

Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Cashing $146,000 in Stolen Tax Refund Checks

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

BOSTON – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty today in connection with receiving stolen U.S. Treasury checks.

Rolfi Espinal, 49, pleaded guilty to three counts of receipt of stolen public money.  U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for June 19, 2016.  Espinal was charged in December 2015. 

From September to December 2011, Espinal accepted fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks totaling $146,698, which he cashed through his girlfriend’s bank account.  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 told the agents that he paid taxes on all of the income when he had only paid taxes on $34,000 of business receipts for the 2011 tax year.   

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.  If the Court accepts the plea agreement, Espinal will be sentenced to 15 to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $13,500 in restitution to the IRS.  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; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Boston; and Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, made the announcement today.  Lawrence Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police also assisted with the investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.

Updated April 15, 2016

Financial Fraud