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Press Release

Family-Run Tax Fraud Scheme Sends Three To Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Judy Lynn McCune, Loretta Ann McCune and Rania Ann Sanchez have been ordered to prison for conspiring to defraud the federal government in a scheme to prepare federal tax returns and cash refund checks in the name of deceased individuals, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Lucy Cruz. The three women entered pleas of guilty in April 2013.

This morning, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who accepted the guilty pleas, handed Judy Lynn McCune a sentence of 57 months, while Loretta McCune and Sanchez will serve respective terms of 20 and 24 months in prison. The court also ordered the payment of restitution in the amount of $223,098 to the IRS. They will be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms.

Judy Lynn McCune admitted she recruited members of her family, including her mother, Loretta Ann McCune, and her sister, Sanchez, into the scheme. The conspiracy involved obtaining Social Security numbers and dates of birth for deceased individuals through the Internet and then filing both paper and electronic federal income tax returns using the identifiers of these deceased individuals. The refunds were directly deposited in the personal bank account or mailed to the personal addresses of the accused. The total scheme consisted of approximately 340 false claims totaling $763,124 in filed false claims.

The court ordered Judy Lynn McCune to surrender on Aug. 27, 2013, to being serving her sentence. Loretta Ann McCune and Sanchez were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Robert and Edward Gutierrez, Judy Lynn McCune’s sons, are also charged in relation to the scheme. They have both pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax refund claim and are pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by IRS-CI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen Betancourt.

Updated April 30, 2015