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Press Release

Guilty Pleas Entered In Family-Run Tax Fraud Scheme

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 pleaded guilty 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.

Loretta Ann McCune and Sanchez entered their pleas just moments ago before U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, while Judy Lynn McCune pleaded guilty on April 8, 2013.

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 three women face up to 10 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine at their sentencing, which has been set for July 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Hanen. They were permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Robert and Edward Gutierrez, Judy Lynn McCune’s sons, are also charged in the scheme and are currently set for trial in June 2013. They are presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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

Updated April 30, 2015