Final Defendant Pleads Guilty In Tax Refund Scheme
Israel Brito-Rodriguez, 49, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced Jack Smith, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
On October 14, 2015, Israel Brito-Rodriguez was indicted along with Lorenzo Brito-Rodriguez, 40, and Eydi Ioena Brito-Rodriguez, 30, also of Bowling Green, and charged with conspiring to file false federal income tax returns. The indictment also charged Israel Brito-Rodriguez with possession of a counterfeit alien registration receipt (“green card”).
According to the charging documents, between February 2014 and December 2015, one or more of the conspirators prepared and filed multiple false and fraudulent federal income tax returns, claiming refunds of more than $1,000 each. The defendants used fraudulent power of attorney documents, representing the named payees on the checks, to cash the checks and caused interstate wire transfers to be used to execute the scheme. In total, the defendants obtained more than $500,000 in proceeds from the false refund checks.
Eydi Brito-Rodriguez and Lorenzo Brito-Rodriguez previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Eydi Brito-Rodriguez was sentenced to serve nine months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $100,000.00 to the IRS. Lorenzo Brito-Rodriguez was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison and ordered to pay $492,427.71 in restitution.
Israel Brito-Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., and faces a potential statutory maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas J. Jaworski and Byron M. Jones represented the United States.