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Press Release

Man Admits Guilt in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme Using Hacked UPMC Employee Information

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A foreign national residing outside of the United States pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of money laundering and aggravated identity theft, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Yoandy Perez Llanes, 33 pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that early in 2014, tens of thousands of present and former employees of UPMC had their personal information compromised by hackers, who intruded into a UPMC computerized database and stole names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other personal identifying information. This data was then used to file over 900 false 2013 federal tax returns, which contained requests for tax refunds onto gift cards. Llanes and other conspirators laundered the gift cards to purchase electronic merchandise, which was shipped through reshipping services to Venezuela, and retrieved by Llanes and others. While the perpetrators claimed approximately $2.2 million in unlawful refunds, $1,475,000 million was actually disbursed in unlawful refunds.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for August 18, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 22 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Yoandy Perez Llanes.

Updated April 17, 2017

Identity Theft