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Press Release

Salinas Resident Sentenced To Prison For Role In Tax Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant pleaded guilty to tax fraud scheme seeking more than $9.7 million in refunds

SAN JOSE – Ana Bajo, a/k/a Ana Covarrubias, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for her role in a conspiracy to file fraudulent claims for income tax refunds, announced U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Special Agent in Charge Kareem Carter.  The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge. 

According to documents and information provided to the court, during 2012, Bajo, 43, of Salinas, conspired with Jacqueline Ramos and Norma Morfin to obtain the personal identifying information of others and use it to file more than 2,300 fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  These returns reported fake wages and fraudulently claimed dependents, education expenses, and tax credits.  In total, the returns sought approximately $9.7 million in refunds, of which the IRS paid more than $7.5 million. Bajo and her co-conspirators directed the fraudulently obtained refund checks into bank accounts that they controlled. 

On July 13, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Bajo charging her with conspiracy to submit false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286.  Bajo pleaded guilty to the charge. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Koh ordered Bajo to pay $1,641,610 in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release, following the completion of her term in prison.  

Bajo was the fourth defendant to be sentenced by Judge Koh for having a role in the tax fraud scheme: Ramos was ordered to serve 60 months in prison, Morfin was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison, and Antonio Ahumada Rivas was ordered to serve 21 months in prison.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Pitman and Trial Attorney Christopher Magnani of the Tax Division are prosecuting this case.   This prosecution is a result of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation.

Updated June 12, 2019