Fourth Bronx Man Sentenced in Tax Refund Conspiracy Case
Leader of the Conspiracy Ronnie E. Mejia to Serve 10-Year Sentence
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Ronnie E. Mejia, age 28, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced yesterday to serve 120 months in prison for leading a conspiracy that attempted to defraud the U.S. Treasury of $2.8 million through the filing of false tax returns using stolen identities.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; James Robnett, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation New York Field Office; and Delany E. De Leon-Colon, Acting Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division. In addition to his prison term of 10 years, Mejia was also sentenced to a 3-year term of supervised release following his release from incarceration and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $478,320.00. The sentence also included his guilty plea to two counts of aggravated identity theft.
In pleading guilty, Mejia admitted that he conspired to steal income tax refunds as part of a scheme involving fraudulent tax returns filed using stolen identities from residents of Puerto Rico. The IRS mailed refund checks generated from these false returns to residential locations (chosen by Mejia and his co-conspirators) of uninvolved residents in the Syracuse and Binghamton, New York areas. Mejia and three co-defendants were stopped by Town of Dewitt Police and U.S. Postal Inspectors on September 26, 2011, as they were in the process of stealing tax refund checks from mailboxes in Dewitt, New York. Mejia was driving a car that was later found to contain 8 unmailed fraudulent federal income tax returns as well as a laptop computer that was used to create false W-2 wage statements as part of the scheme to defraud the IRS. Following the discovery of the scheme, the IRS was able to prevent payment of many of the refunds. At sentencing it was determined that Mejia led the conspiracy and paid others for collecting addresses that were later used to file false tax returns using stolen identities.
Ronnie E. Mejia’s three co-defendants were previously sentenced as follows:
On May 2, 2018, Luis Morillo was sentenced to serve 45 months in prison to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release and restitution.
On May 8, 2018, Cerrone Hall was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release and restitution.
On May 16, 2018, Jeffrey Carvajal was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release and restitution.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (Syracuse, New York), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (Syracuse, New York), and the Town of Dewitt Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick.