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Press Release

Two New York Men Sentenced To Prison For Roles In $1 Million Stolen Identity Refund Scheme

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two men from Bronx, New York, were each sentenced today to 61 months in prison for their roles in a scheme to obtain stolen identity information and use it to file phony tax returns with the IRS, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.     

Jhan Luis Mejia Marcelino, 27, and Odanys Orlando Rojas, a/k/a “El Fuerte,” 39, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to separate informations charging them each with one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, one count of theft of government funds, and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

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

Mejia and Rojas admitted that from January 2013 through May 2014, they obtained stolen personal identifying information, including names and Social Security numbers, of victims located in New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere. Afterwards, Mejia, Rojas and others used the information to file fraudulent federal tax returns. They also admitted that once they received the refunds, they converted the checks to cash or other proceeds for their own benefit. Overall, the scheme caused losses of over $1 million to the U.S. Treasury.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Vazquez sentenced each defendant to three years of supervised release and ordered them to pay restitution of $1,109,938.    

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn; and the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark Mckevitt, with the investigation. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel:
Marcelino: John Yauch Esq.   Rojas: Tim Anderson Esq. 

Updated June 8, 2017

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 17-175