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Press Release

Allentown Woman Sentenced To 75 Months’ Imprisonment And Must Pay Over $857,000 For Defrauding The Government

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

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on March 9, 2021, Marien Torres-Acevedo, age 38, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 75 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani, for conspiring to defraud the government and for committing aggravated identity theft.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Torres-Acevedo pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the government between January 2015 to July 2016.  Torres-Acevedo and her conspirators obtained fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks by stealing victims’ identities and using those stolen identities to file false tax returns that generated significant refunds.  Torres-Acevedo and her conspirators then secured the fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks and cashed them at various check cashing businesses, including several in Pennsylvania.  Torres-Acevedo admitted that between $550, 000 and $1.5 million in losses occurred as a result of the criminal activity.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mariani highlighted the losses caused to the United States government by the scheme, and the number of victims whose identities were stolen to file false tax returns.  Acevedo also was held accountable for fabricating social media communications that threatened her and her family and providing them to investigators, who were able to trace the communications back to Acevedo.

Judge Mariani also ordered Torres-Acevedo to pay $857,729.65 in restitution.  Torres-Acevedo is a citizen of the Dominican Republic and faces deportation at the conclusion of her sentence of imprisonment.

Torres-Acevedo codefendant, Francisco Rodriguez-Polanco, and another coconspirator, Julio Polanco Suarez, both pleaded guilty to similar offenses.  Rodriguez-Polanco was sentenced to 54 months of imprisonment, while Suarez awaits sentencing.   Another third coconspirator, Alfred LiPuma, age 81, was previously sentenced to three years of probation and paid $2.1 million in restitution and fines.

The matter was investigated by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspectors, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies.  Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo prosecuted the case.

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Updated March 10, 2021

Identity Theft