Owner Of Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud
Filed 283 False Tax Returns, Resulting in the IRS Paying Almost $1 Million in Refunds
Baltimore, Maryland – Jennifer Rodriguez, age 40, of Hyattsville, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States in connection with the filing of 291 false tax returns.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
“Identity thieves are becoming more creative and conniving,” stated Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office. “They steal identities, steal from the U.S. taxpayer and prey upon innocent victims.”
According to her plea agreement, Rodriguez owned a tax preparation service known as Latin Multi Services, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. From October or November 2010 to January 2012, Rodriguez filed false income tax returns using the stolen identities of Puerto Rico residents. The stolen identities were obtained from a co-conspirator residing in Puerto Rico who appeared to group the stolen identities by families, including minor children. Rodriguez falsely listed the tax payers’ home addresses as her own home address in Maryland, or variations of her business address. These tax returns also included fabricated income and deductions. All of the fraudulent returns requested refunds to be deposited in bank accounts that Rodriguez or a co-conspirator controlled.
Over the course of the scheme, Rodriguez filed 283 false tax returns which caused IRS to pay $983,382 in fraudulent refunds.
Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz scheduled sentencing for January 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the IRS – Criminal Investigation for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman, who is prosecuting the case.