Passaic County, N.J., Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Defraud The U.S. Treasury Department Of More Than $2.5 Million
NEWARK, N.J. - A Passaic County, N.J., man today admitted his role in defrauding the U.S. Department of Treasury of more than $2.5 million in income tax return checks, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced today.
Reyes Flores-Perez, 32, of Passaic, N.J., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of knowingly transferring false identification documents.
According to documents filed in this case and statement made in court:
Citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico typically do not file tax returns with the IRS as long as all of their income is derived from sources in Puerto Rico. Members of the conspiracy filed or caused to be filed phony individual income tax returns with the IRS using the identity information of other individuals, including citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The IRS processed the false returns as if they were legitimate and issued refund checks, which were obtained by Flores-Perez’ conspirators. Flores-Perez’ role in the scheme was to produce fraudulent identification documents that matched the identities of the payees on the treasury checks, which his conspirators used to negotiate the treasury checks. Flores-Perez admitted the total loss from the conspiracy was more than $2.5 million.
The conspiracy charge to which Flores-Perez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The transferring fraudulent identification documents charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. Both charges also carry a potential $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Jonathan D. Larsen; postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James Mottola; and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cari Fais of the General Crimes Unit and Andrew J. Bruck of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: John Whipple Esq., Morristown, N.J.