Cranston Tax Preparers Charged With Allegedly Stealing And Selling The Identities Of Minors For Use As Tax Deductions On Tax Returns
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Court documents unsealed in federal court in Providence today reveal an alleged scheme by the owners and operators of NBP Multiservices (NBP), a tax preparation business in Cranston, R.I., to steal personal identifying information of minors named as dependents on legitimate tax returns their company prepared and selling the information to other tax filers for use on their tax returns in order to increase tax refunds, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation; and Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service.
Evelyn Nunez, 40, of Providence, and Tashia Bodden, 37, of Warwick, were arrested earlier today by agents from IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service on federal criminal complaints charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States, false claims to the United States and aggravated identity theft. They were released on unsecured bond following initial appearances before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan.
According to court documents, the Scheme Development Center, a division of the IRS, conducted an analysis of tax returns prepared by individuals working at NBP and identified questionable use of children being claimed as dependents. The alleged use of the dependents led to the refunding by the IRS of hundreds of thousands of dollars under the Earned Income Credit available to low income taxpayers.
According to court records and information presented to the court, an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that between January 2008 and February 2012, taxpayers allegedly purchased false dependents for approximately $600 - $700 per dependent. Research of the use of dependents allegedly showed that the defendants falsely claimed dozens of children to be foster children, nieces and nephews of the taxpayers when, in reality, they had no relation to the taxpayer.
It is alleged that the scheme defrauded the IRS of more than $1.34 million dollars and defrauded the State of Rhode Island of more than $65,500 dollars.
A third defendant in this matter, Wendy Molina, 39, of Cranston, has been charged by way of an information with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. She is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court on October 1, 2014.
A criminal complaint and an information are merely allegations and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
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