Four Plead Guilty In Million Dollar Tax Refund Fraud Scheme
Maria J. Rodriguez, 45, of Smyrna, Tenn.; Regulo Aldama-Olivares, 26, and Carlos Sanchez-Aldama, 30, both of Mexico; and Marcelino Lainez-Villalobos, 38, of Honduras; each admitted conspiring with one other, and with other persons between January 2011 and June 2014 to defraud the United States.
“Those who exploit the vulnerabilities in the federal tax system and steal from the taxpayers will continue to be pursued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners,” said U.S. Attorney David Rivera.”
Each defendant admitted their participation in the scheme, including some who travelled to Tennessee to supply documents and identifications and prepare mail and retrieve the fraudulent tax returns. The defendants worked together to steal or help others to steal over $1 million of taxpayer money.
“Investigating refund fraud and identity theft continues to be a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation,” added Christopher A. Henry, IRS Special Agent in Charge. “Stealing identities and filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. Law enforcement is serious about investigating these crimes and holding those who would defraud the government accountable.”
"Identifying financial crimes that threaten the health of our national economy and exposing criminals who attempt to steal from law-abiding taxpayers will continue to be a major investigative priority for HSI," said Cindy M. Johnson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.
Each defendant faces 5 or more years in prison and those from Mexico and Honduras also face deportation.
Aldama-Olivares and Lainez-Villalobos are scheduled for sentencing October 30, 2015. Rodriguez and Sanchez-Aldama are scheduled for sentencing November 6, 2015.
This case was investigated by agents of the IRS- Criminal Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hilliard Hester.