Martinez Resident Sentenced To 41 Months In Tax Fraud Scheme
OAKLAND – Santiago Reyna was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $49,639 for his role in a conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf. The sentence was handed down yesterday by U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, following the entry of a guilty plea on May 23, 2016.
According to his plea agreement, in 2013 and 2014, Reyna, 36, of Martinez, devised a scheme to defraud the United States and to obtain money by submitting false tax returns. As part of the scheme, Reyna conspired with his codefendant, Lynsey Hartsinck, to obtain personally identifiable information from at least twelve individuals, most of whom resided in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Reyna used the names and Social Security numbers of these individuals to prepare and electronically file false tax returns in their names without their knowledge or consent. He also obtained fraudulent refunds in their names. On many of the fraudulent returns he prepared and filed, Reyna directed the IRS to deposit the fraudulent refunds into prepaid debit card accounts that he and Hartsinck controlled. Reyna also rented a postal deposit box from a UPS Store in San Ramon, posing as one of the victims in his scheme. A total of $198,249 was falsely claimed, and fraudulent refunds of no less than $49,639 were obtained as a result of the scheme.
A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on June 16, 2015, with conspiracy to file false claims, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and possession of stolen mail. On February 29, 2016, Hartsinck pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and to one count of aggravated identity theft. Reyna pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.
In addition to the prison term and the order to pay restitution, Judge Gilliam also sentenced Reyna to a three-year period of supervised release. Reyna will begin serving the sentence on January 3, 2017. Hartsnick has not yet been sentenced.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Sampson is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and by the United States Postal Inspection Service.