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Press Release

Bulgarian Citizen Admits Role In $6 Million Tax Refund Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A citizen of the Republic of Bulgaria today admitted his involvement in a $6 million fraudulent tax return scheme that used personal identifying information stolen from multiple accounting firm networks, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Vanyo Minkov, 32, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiring to file false and fraudulent tax returns.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In late 2012, Minkov and his conspirators hacked into the networks of at least four accounting firms and stole the 2011 tax filings for over 1,000 of the firms’ clients. Minkov and others then used the stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns in the clients’ names for the 2012 tax year or sold the information to others for the same purpose. To date, the IRS has identified over $6 million in fraudulent claims made in connection with the scheme.

The charge to which Minkov pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 13, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl Agnelli, and special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, for the investigation leading to today’s plea. U.S. Attorney Fishman also thanked the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs in Washington, as well as the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and its law enforcement partners, for their extraordinary support.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew S. Pak of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Jack Arseneault Esq., Chatham, New Jersey. 

Updated September 1, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-259