SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury indicted Julio Polanco Suarez, age 41, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, with conspiring to defraud the government, theft of government money, and aggravated identity theft. The indictment was returned on April 10, 2018, but remained under seal until Suarez’s apprehension.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment charges Suarez with conspiring to defraud the government between March 1, 2009 and September 20, 2016. The government money and identity theft charges are alleged to have occurred in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, on September 20, 2016.
The indictment alleges that Suarez’s coconspirators stole individuals’ identities, used them to prepare and file false tax returns, and obtained the refund checks issued by the U.S. Treasury pursuant to those false tax returns. Suarez took possession of the refund checks, forged names and social security numbers on them, and cashed them at check cashing businesses in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Suarez and his coconspirators are charged with cashing $522,613.80 in fraudulently obtained Treasury checks, and attempting to cash an additional $41,401.57 worth of checks.
The case was investigated by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies. Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalties under federal law for the most serious charges are up to 10 years of imprisonment. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a two-year consecutive mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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