Owner Of Tax Preparation Business Sentenced To Prison For Tax Fraud
Filed 283 False Tax Returns; Conspirators Fraudulently Received Almost $1 Million in Refunds
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Jennifer Rodriguez, age 41, of Hyattsville, Maryland today to a year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release for a fraud conspiracy arising from the filing of 283 false tax returns. Judge Motz entered an order that Rodriguez pay restitution of $983,382, the amount of fraudulent tax refunds paid by the IRS.
The sentence 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.
“The sole objective of Ms. Rodriguez’s identity theft scheme was to unjustly enrich herself at the expense of the American taxpayer,” said Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office. “Today's sentencing of Ms. Rodriguez should serve as a stark reminder to others that criminal behavior comes with a cost, prison time.”
According to her plea agreement, Rodriguez owned Latin Multi Services, a tax preparation service 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 of families, including minor children, were obtained from a co-conspirator residing in Puerto Rico. 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.
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 prosecuted the case.