Mexican National Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee
Defendant Remained a Fugitive for Six Years
NASHVILLE – A Mexican national pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court to conspiring to file false claims against the United States in order to defraud the United States and steal more than $1,000 of public money, announced U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Claudio Juarez, 41, pleaded guilty on Wednesday and had been a fugitive for six years following his indictment in 2016, before being arrested in June 2022 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners at IRS – Criminal Investigation to identify and prosecute those who exploit the tax system and defraud the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Leventis. “I commend the agents and prosecutors who have remained diligent through several years of this protracted investigation which has brought dozens of offenders to justice.”
Juarez was one of 46 persons ultimately charged for participating in a tax fraud scheme involving tax preparation businesses throughout middle Tennessee, including Soto Income Tax Services. The federal investigation began in April 2015, when 10 federal search warrants were executed at various residences and tax return preparation businesses. As a result of this investigation, agents subsequently determined that part of the tax fraud scheme dated back to 2011 and resulted in nearly $6 million in bogus refunds.
During the investigation, more than $1 million in cash was seized, as well as several late model, luxury automobiles and 11 Nashville-area properties. Many of the individuals charged, including Juarez, were in the United States illegally. Juarez’s role in the scheme was crucial to its success as he cashed fraudulent checks and dealt in fake documents such as W-2’s and other fraudulent identification documents.
"As we approach tax filing season, those who might consider preparing false tax returns should be aware of the extremely negative consequences as evidenced by the 46 defendants charged," said Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Field Office. "Today's plea again emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and U.S. Attorney’s office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America's tax system."
Juarez’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 15, 2023. He faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations, with arrest assistance by the Bowling Green Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney J. Christopher Suedekum is prosecuting the case.
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Public Affairs Officer
Updated January 9, 2023