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Press Release

Final Guilty Pleas Entered In Tax Fraud Scheme

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Edward and Robert Gutierrez have each entered guilty pleas to filing a false income tax refund claim, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Lucy Cruz, special agent in charge of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

Robert Gutierrez pleaded guilty just a short time ago before U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, while Edward Gutierrez entered a plea of guilty on May 24, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio.

Edward Gutierrez and Robert Gutierrez were recruited as part of a scheme enacted by their mother, Judy Lynn McCune, to file fraudulent tax returns. Their grandmother, Loretta Ann McCune, and aunt, Rania Ann Sanchez, have also been convicted as part of the scheme.

In their respective guilty pleas, Edward and Robert Gutierrez admitted they each presented a false W-2 to a commercial tax preparation firm indicating they had worked for the City of Harlingen in the year 2007 when in fact they had not. This firm then filed an Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, on their behalf with the Department of Treasury claiming a refund was owed paid based on the false W-2.

Robert Gutierrez requested a refund anticipation loan based on the fraudulent tax refund request of $1808. Edward Gutierrez made a similar request for a loan based on the fraudulent tax refund request of $1681.

Robert Gutierrez will be sentenced by Judge Hanen on Sept. 4, 2013, while Edward Gutierrez is set for Aug. 26, 2013. At that time, they each face a maximum of five years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine.

Judy Lynn McCune, Loretta Ann McCune and Sanchez all previously pleaded guilty or conspiring to defraud the federal government in a scheme to prepare federal tax returns and cash U.S. Treasury refund checks in the name of deceased individuals. They are set for sentencing on July 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. before the Judge Hanen. For their conviction, they each face up to 10 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine.

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

Updated April 30, 2015