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Press Release

Three Individuals Charged In Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Conspiracy

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 today that Jonathan Jacome, age 27, of Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, Cindy Jacome, age 28, of West Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and Melissa Castiglione, age 30, of Mountain Top, were indicted on August 8, 2017, by a federal grand jury on fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and obstruction charges. The case was unsealed on August 30, 2017.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the superseding indictment alleges that Jonathan Jacome used stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns in 2011 and 2012, and obtained over $6 million in fraudulent federal tax refunds. Jacome owned three check cashing businesses through which he processed the fraudulently obtained Treasury checks. The superseding indictment charges Jonathan Jacome with 31 counts including conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims, false fictitious, and fraudulent claims, theft of public money, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.


Cindy Jacome and Melissa Castiglione are alleged to have conspired with Jonathan Jacome to launder the proceeds of his fraudulent activities. The superseding indictment further alleges that Castiglione and Cindy Jacome obstructed the investigation and that Cindy Jacome committed perjury, all stemming from false, evasive, and misleading testimony before the grand jury.


The case was investigated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Hazelton City Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean A. Camoni.


Indictments and Criminal Informations 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 total penalties under federal law for this offense is 183 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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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Updated August 31, 2017

Identity Theft