Six Dominicans nabbed in NYC ‘massive’ tax fraud: Reports
New York.- Several Dominicans were charged in South District Federal Court of defrauding the US Internal Revenue (IRS) out of millions of dollars, and of stealing information of thousands of people, diariolibre.com and forbes.com report.
Noel Cuello, Luz Ricardo (Lucy), Francisco Abreu (Seyayín), Arismendi Cuello (Cheíto), Jonathan Orbe (Jigga), Catherine Ricart (Cathy) and Joel Vargas are the suspects.
"Apparently, not everyone gets a nickname," US Attorney Preet Bharara said sarcastically to announce the indictment.
Investigators say the group stole information including Social Security numbers of thousands of beneficiaries to claim millions of dollars in IRS refunds.
Abreu had worked as an investigator at New York City Human Resources, which helped him access the database to steal IDs, prosecutors say, and involved IRS loans given to the parents of minors.
Court papers say Ricardo and Cuello opened a tax return business in New York, with the help of the other defendants and recruited taxpayers willing to lie about false dependents in exchange for cash.
Bharara said the scheme began sometime in 2009 and lasted until the spring of 2014, adding that the defendants continued to fraud, even after investigators raided the tax return office managed by Cuello and Ricardo. "To confuse authorities and escape fraud detection, Orbe and Ricart opened new electronic and bank accounts because minors cannot claim tax refunds."
The prosecutor called it a “massive fraud scam” perpetrated by the defendants, who if convicted face up to 20 years in prison and fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars.