Leader of Fraud Scheme Involving Family Members is Sentenced
DALLAS — Rolando Minano, 48, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 78 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $665,962 in restitution, following his guilty plea in May 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Rolando Minano’s ex-wife, Martha Irene Collantes, 53, and his stepson, Carlos Arturo Pastor Collantes, 32, were sentenced in May 2016 to 12 months and just over 10 months, respectively. Each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public funds. Minano’s father, Francisco Minano Vargas, 73, and his mother, Santos Magdalena Toribio De Minano, 66, each pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony. Francisco Minano Vargas was sentenced to serve a two-year term of probation. Sentencing is set for November 17, 2016, for Santos Magdalena Toribio De Minano.
The investigation began when members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service notified Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation that the owner of a private mailbox at a commercial mail receiving business in Garland, Texas, had received five Department of Treasury envelopes addressed in other people’s names. The investigation revealed that all the envelopes contained refund checks.
Further investigation, according to documents filed in his case, showed that Rolando Francisco Minano ran a fraud scheme to obtain Department of the Treasury refund checks by making materially false and fictitious representations to the government. The defendants obtained multiple Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) in their names and others by submitting false Peruvian passports. Rolando Francisco Minano notarized all of the ITIN applications, certifying the Peruvian passports were authentic. Tax returns were then filed with the false ITINs and refunds were directed to be mailed to multiple addresses under the defendants’ control. Once received, the checks were endorsed by defendants and deposited into bank accounts they controlled and opened in their true names.
For example, during the course of the conspiracy, the defendants deposited the following approximate amounts in fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks, in the names of people other than themselves, into JP Morgan Chase bank accounts: Rolando Francisco Minano, $19,932; Martha Irene Collantes, $148,091; Francisco Minano Vargas, $64,352; Santos Magdalena Toribio de Minano, $213,038; and Carlos Arturo Pastor Collantes, $59,104.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wiley was in charge of the prosecution.
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