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Justice News

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

Monday, December 2, 2019

Carpentersville Man Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud

ROCKFORD — A Carpentersville man pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis to mail fraud. 

ROBERTO FISHER, 50, admitted in a written plea agreement that from March 9, 2010, to May 25, 2013, he and others devised and participated in a scheme to defraud and to obtain money from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Sentencing for Fisher is set for March 27, 2020, at 10:30 a.m.  He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division; Craig Goldberg, Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

In the plea agreement, Fisher admitted that from March 9, 2010, through May 18, 2012, he met with PATTY CORDOBA, the owner and manager of PATTY’S TAX SERVICE (“PTS”) - a tax preparation business in Capron and McHenry - and other PTS employees, including MARIO CORDOBA, LUISA CARBAJAL, and ALICIA AREVALO, to provide information to PTS to have fraudulent tax returns prepared and filed on behalf of individuals who resided in Mexico.  As part of the scheme to defraud, Fisher provided false information about individuals who resided in Mexico in order to obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers to file fraudulent federal income tax returns. During that time period, Fisher provided PTS with identifying information for eleven individuals and their dependents, all of whom resided in Mexico.  Fisher admitted he told those individuals that he was going to use their information for tax purposes and that he would give them money for allowing him to use their information.  Fisher admitted that he provided the fraudulent individual tax identification numbers to Patty Cordoba and other employees of PTS to prepare 53 fraudulent Form 1040s in those names. 

After May 18, 2012, Fisher continued the scheme to defraud by preparing four additional fraudulent Form 1040s for the 2012 tax year, and he signed the four returns in the names of those individuals.  Fisher admitted that he, Patty Cordoba, Mario Cordoba, Luisa Carbajal, Arevalo and other PTS employees mailed the 57 returns to the IRS Service Centers in Austin, Tex., Fresno, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo.  Fisher also admitted that after some of the returns were filed, the IRS requested additional information on some of the returns filed and that he provided letters to Patty Cordoba and other PTS employees who prepared letters in response to the IRS letters.  Patty Cordoba signed the letters in the names of the other individuals and either Fisher or Patty Cordoba or another PTS employee mailed the letters to the IRS.

Based on the 57 false and fraudulent Form 1040s submitted to the IRS, the U.S. Treasury issued and mailed tax refund checks to the addresses listed on the false tax returns in the names of those individuals.  Patty Cordoba opened bank accounts in the names of ten individuals.  Fisher deposited the 57 tax refund checks into those accounts or into his own bank account and withdrew the funds from some of the bank accounts.  As a result of Fisher’s filing of the 57 fraudulent tax returns, the IRS issued approximately $207,467 in refunds to which Fisher was not entitled.

Patty Cordoba, of Crystal Lake, and several others were charged in a related case.  Patty Cordoba pleaded guilty to mail fraud and on Sept. 28, 2016, and was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072.  Her co-defendants in that case also pleaded guilty to mail fraud, including: Arevalo, of Poplar Grove, who was sentenced on Aug. 29, 2016, to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072; CESAR BESICHE, also known as Cesar Beciche-Barranco, of McHenry, who was sentenced on March 15, 2016, to time served and ordered released to the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for processing of deportation proceedings against him; Carbajal, of Marengo, who was sentenced on June 23, 2016, to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072; Mario Cordoba, of Crystal Lake, who was sentenced on Sept. 1, 2016, to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of 1,115,072; OLGA LIDIA DIAZ-HERNANDEZ, also known as Olga Diaz, of McHenry, who was sentenced on July 8, 2016, to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $166,296; VERONICA SANCHEZ-BARRADAS, of McHenry, who was sentenced on June 7, 2016, to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $252,398; and VICTOR HERNANDEZ, of McHenry, who was sentenced on May 31, 2016, to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $252,398.

Updated December 2, 2019