Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty In Tax Fraud Scheme
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, announces that Roberto Bisono (34, Jacksonville) pleaded guilty today to theft of government property in connection with cashing numerous federal income tax refund checks which were issued on false and fraudulent tax returns. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Bisono pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He also agreed to make restitution of approximately $711,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. Bisono was released on a $25,000 bond pending a sentencing hearing. A date has not been set. Bisono was indicted on March 13, 2014.
According to court records, between November 2011 and April 2012, Bisono obtained U.S. Treasury checks which were mailed to bogus taxpayers in the Bronx, New York. These checks were the results of false and fraudulently-filed tax returns. In November 2011, Bisono deposited the first 7 checks into a business bank account of co-defendant Juan Miguel Ruiz, and later furnished the remaining 104 checks to Ruiz, who operated a check cashing business on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville. Between November 2011 and April 2012, Ruiz deposited the additional 104 checks into his business bank account in Jacksonville, Florida. From his business bank account, Ruiz wrote checks totaling over $227,000 to Bisono, and to other persons associated with Bisono.
On July 11, 2014, Ruiz pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in the scheme. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison. Ruiz is currently released on bond pending a sentencing hearing.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville office of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale R. Campion.