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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bronx Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To $500,000 Tax Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft And Passport Fraud

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced that REBECCA BAYUO pled guilty today to charges related to her preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns that resulted in inflated refunds to taxpayers, and her use of stolen identities to collect fraudulent tax refunds.  BAYOU’s conduct resulted in a loss to the United States government of more than $500,000.  BAYUO pled guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent United States income tax returns, theft of government funds, passport fraud, and aggravated identity theft before U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Rebecca Bayuo used her Bronx tax preparation business to file fraudulent tax returns for her clients, costing the government over $500,000 in lost tax revenue.  Bayou went beyond simply falsely overstating expenses, business losses, and charitable gifts, also using stolen identifying information to claim false minor dependents.”

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen said: “Today, Ms. Bayuo is held accountable for the frauds she committed, including using stolen identities on tax returns she prepared for her clients and on her own tax returns.  IRS-Criminal Investigation remains committed to investigating individuals who allegedly prepare false tax returns to obtain fraudulent refunds.  We are especially vigilant when it comes to schemes involving stolen identities, as these frauds victimize not only law-abiding taxpayers, but specifically the individuals whose identities were stolen.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment filed against BAYUO, and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

BAYUO owned and operated a tax preparation business located in the Bronx, New York.  From 2010 through 2012, BAYUO prepared and submitted to the IRS false and fraudulent tax returns for her clients that resulted in increased tax refunds by fabricating or overstating unreimbursed employment expenses, gifts to charity, and business losses.  BAYUO also charged clients additional fees to use stolen identifying information of minors, including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, to claim false minor dependents on their tax returns to increase the taxpayers’ refund amount.

In addition, from 2010 through 2014, BAYUO used stolen identifying information to file fraudulent income tax returns that generated tax refunds to which BAYUO was not entitled.  Finally, BAYUO used the stolen identifying information of one victim to illegally obtain a United States passport, which she used to travel internationally on multiple occasions from 2007 through 2014.

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BAYUO, 45, of Bronx, New York, pled guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent United States income tax returns, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison; one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of passport fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory, consecutive term of two years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

In pleading guilty, BAYUO agreed to forfeit to the United States a sum of money no less than $102,865.67 and to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $575,000.  

She is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Koeltl on December 2, 2016, at 11:00 a.m.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of IRS-CI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Jason M. Swergold is in charge of the prosecution.

16-214                                                                       ###

Topic(s): 
Tax
Press Release Number: 
16-2014
Updated August 2, 2016