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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Salinas Resident Sentenced To Prison For Tax Scheme

SAN JOSE – Norma Morfin Mandujano, aka Norma Morfin, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison, and ordered to pay $7,505,519 in restitution, for her role in a conspiracy to submit false claims to the government, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge.

Morfin, 47, of Salinas, pleaded guilty to the charge on July 18, 2018.  According to the plea agreement, Morfin admitted that, during 2012, she conspired with her codefendants to obtain the personal identifying information of others, and to use that information to file more than 2,300 fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.  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 more than $7.5 million were paid.  Morfin and her co-conspirators directed the fraudulently obtained refunds into bank accounts they controlled.  

A federal grand jury indicted Morfin on July 13, 2017, charging her with one count of conspiracy to submit false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286.  

In addition to the prison term and restitution, Judge Koh ordered Morfin to serve a 3-year period of supervised release.  The defendant will begin serving the sentence on January 15, 2019.   

Other co-defendants indicted in connection with the conspiracy include the following:
 

Name

Charge

Status

Jacqueline Acosta, aka Jaqueline Ramos, aka Jackie Acosta

 

Pleaded guilty on

October 17, 2018 to conspiracy,

in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286,  and two counts of bank fraud,

in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344(2)

Sentencing scheduled for

March 20, 2019

Ana Bajo, aka

Ana Covarrubias

Pleaded guilty on

April 18, 2018, to conspiracy,

in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286

Sentencing scheduled for

April 10, 2019

Jorge Vissani

Charged with one count of  conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286

Fugitive of justice

 

The charge pending against Jorge Vissani merely alleges that a crime has been committed; all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Vissani faces a maximum statutory sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release, and restitution, if appropriate.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

In addition, on October 30, 2018, Antonio Ahumada Rivas pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud in connection with the scheme.  Judge Koh scheduled Rivas’s sentencing for February 6, 2019.   

Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. Pitman and Trial Attorney Christopher Magnani are prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Updated November 14, 2018