SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on December 9, 2020, Francisco Rodriguez-Polanco, age 35, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to 54 months’ imprisonment and a two-year term of supervised release by United States District Judge Robert D. Mariani, for conspiring to defraud the government and for committing aggravated identity theft.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Rodriguez-Polanco pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the government between January 2015 to July 2016. Rodriguez-Polanco and his 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. Rodriguez-Polanco and his conspirators then secured the fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks and cashed them at various check cashing businesses, including several in Pennsylvania. Rodriguez-Polanco admitted that between $550, 000 and $1.5 million in losses occurred as a result of the criminal activity.
Judge Mariani also ordered Rodriguez-Polanco to pay $857,729.65 in restitution. Rodriguez-Polanco is a citizen of the Dominican Republic and faces deportation at the conclusion of his sentence of imprisonment.
Rodriguez-Polanco’s codefendant, Marien Torres-Acevedo, and another coconspirator, Julio Polanco Suarez, both pleaded guilty to similar offenses and await sentencing. A 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 agents from 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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