Miami Resident Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for his Role in Cashing Fraudulently Obtained Large-Dollar Tax Refund Checks
A Miami resident was sentenced to 72 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release for his involvement in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme involving the cashing of fraudulently obtained large-dollar tax refund checks.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Silvio Galvez, Jr., 30, of Miami, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1).
According to court documents, from 2013 to 2014, co-conspirators of Galvez submitted hundreds of fraudulent tax returns with stolen personal identity information to the IRS requesting over $50 million in large-dollar tax refunds (each refund requested ranged in value from $130,000 to $170,000). As a result of these fraudulent filings, the IRS paid out approximately $4.3 million in tax refunds by mailing out tax refund checks to various Miami addresses connected to this scheme. Galvez knew these fraudulent returns were being filed and furthered the scheme by serving as the source to cash these fraudulently obtained large-dollar tax refund checks at check cashers and at various banks. The defendant also participated in the scheme by recruiting a bank employee to open up bank accounts using stolen personal identity information where these fraudulent checks could be deposited.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, the FBI, and ICE-HSI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.