Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Two Individuals For Participating In Large-Scale Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Tax Scheme Involving In Excess Of 40,000 Stolen Identities
Gerardo Enmanuel Luna Marmolejos And Yohauris Rodriguez Hernandez, Both Citizens Of The Dominican Republic, Allegedly Stole Thousands Of Identities For Use In Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Shantelle P. Kitchen, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (“IRS-CI”), today announced charges against two individuals for participating in a large-scale tax refund scheme that used tens of thousands of stolen identities to file fraudulent returns to obtain fraudulent tax refund checks. GERARDO ENMANUEL LUNA MARMOLEJOS, a/k/a “Jorge Rodriguez Burgos,” and YOHAURIS RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Joana Esquilin,” a/k/a “Joana Esquilin Ramirez,” a/k/a “Carla Nunos,” citizens of the Dominican Republic, are charged in a tax fraud scheme involving in excess of 40,000 stolen identities and millions of dollars in fraudulent returns. LUNA MARMOLEJOS and RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ were charged in a superseding indictment today and will appear in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald at 3:30 p.m.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, Luna Marmolejos and Rodriguez Hernandez conspired to steal tens of thousands of identities in order to file fraudulent tax returns and collect millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds. Tax fraud amounts to theft from the general treasury; and in effect, these defendants allegedly conspired to steal money that belongs to the public. I commend IRS-CI and our other law enforcement partners on this case.”
IRS-CI Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen said: “One of the ways the Internal Revenue Service is addressing the identity theft problem is through the vigorous investigation of stolen identity tax refund fraud schemes. These investigations send a clear message about the consequences of filing tax refunds using stolen information, as those involved expose themselves to criminal prosecution and sentences of imprisonment.”
According to the Superseding Indictment filed today in Manhattan federal court:
From at least December 2011 through September 29, 2014, LUNA MARMOLEJOS and RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ conspired and engaged in a scheme to steal the names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers of individuals, which the defendants then used to file fraudulent income tax returns that claimed tax refunds to which the defendants were not entitled.
LUNA MARMOLEJOS, 23, and RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ, 33, both citizens of the Dominican Republic and residing in New Jersey at the time of their arrest, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to steal government funds, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to file false claims, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to engage in wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with the tax fraud scheme, which carries a mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. In addition, LUNA MARMOLEJOS is charged with one count of bail jumping, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence, and one count of visa fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. RODRIGUEZ is also charged with one count of visa fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of passport fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the Court.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of IRS-CI, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Marshals Service, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolina A. Fornos is in charge of the prosecutions.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.