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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 31, 2015

Miami-Dade County Resident Pled Guilty to Filing More Than $7 Million in False Refund Claims with the IRS

A Miami-Dade County resident pled guilty to filing more than $7 million in false refund claims with the Internal Revenue Service.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

Efrain Galvez, 53, of Miami, Florida, pled guilty to one count of making a false, fictitious, and fraudulent claim against the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287.

According to court documents, Galvez filed false 2005 through 2008 federal income tax returns with the IRS claiming a total of $7,421,987 in fraudulent refunds.  In the returns, Galvez falsely asserted that he was owed millions of dollars in income from various entities, and that those entities had withheld the money as federal income tax paid to the IRS.  In fact, the entities owed no such income to Galvez, and withheld no such taxes on his behalf.  Specifically, Galvez filed a 2007 amended tax return requesting a tax refund of $2,852,566 claiming that he received income from two county courts among other entities.  Galvez attached Forms 1099-OID to the tax return, purportedly from the two courts, reflecting that the courts paid the amounts to the IRS on Galvez’s behalf as taxes.  The filed 1099-OID forms were false. Neither court paid or owed income to Galvez or withheld taxes on his behalf.  The amounts referenced in the court documents were in fact foreclosure judgments filed against Galvez for his failure to pay mortgages.

Court documents indicate that Galvez had previously filed legitimate tax returns that did not include fabricated income and withholding amounts, knew that he had not received the income from the various entities reported on the fraudulent returns, knew that the taxes claimed had not been withheld, and knew that the 1099-OID forms were false.

Galvez is scheduled to be sentenced on October 15, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. before United States District Judge William J. Zloch.  At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum of five years of imprisonment.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Gonsoulin.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated February 4, 2016