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Press Release

Bulgarian Citizen Sentenced To More Than Three Years In Prison For 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 was sentenced to 46 months in prison today for 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, 33, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiring to file false and fraudulent tax returns. Judge Linares imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares ordered Minkov to serve two years of supervised release and pay restitution of $2,702,555.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Wood, 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 Timothy Gallagher 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 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 and Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Ward, Acting Chief of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.

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

Updated September 2, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-156