Operator of Tax Preparation Businesses Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison for Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme
A Broward resident who operated various tax preparation businesses was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $279,903.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Julio Lugo, 38, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Lugo operated various tax preparation businesses including #1 Tax Specialist, The Number One Tax Specialist, and Number Two Tax Specialist. Light House Refund, which was another tax preparation business, obtained an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) from the IRS to electronically file clients' income tax returns. Lugo used the EFIN for Light House Refund to file 48 fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities, and obtained tax refunds to which he was not entitled.
Co-defendant Jamar James was sentenced to two years of probation. James previously pled guilty to one count of making a false statement to a federal agency.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurence M. Bardfeld.