Two Women Indicted in Phony Tax-Return Fraud

Posted on Nov 27, 2012

Not all tax fraud involves individual taxpayers who claim inappropriate dependents or fail to report significant sources of income. It's also increasingly common for brazen individuals to file phony returns and collect fraudulent tax refunds from the government, as witnessed by the case of two women in Charlotte, NC who perpetrated this scheme to the tune of over one million dollars.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Candida Figueroa and Cathy Cisneros conspired to file over 800 phony tax returns over the course of six months, obtaining tax ID numbers by submitting Mexican birth certificates to the government. The women had actually claimed a total of $3.8 million in refunds, but the IRS, missing the forest for the trees, had reduced this amount to $1.6 million, apparently not noticing the returns were fraudulent. The two women cashed the checks, then stashed the money in safe-deposit boxes or bank accounts before wiring it down to Mexico. (So far, the feds have retrieved less than 10 percent of this money!)

How did the women manage not to draw attention to themselves? They rented apartments at various complexes in the Charlotte area, so as not to have 800 refunds delivered to the same address (which might well have triggered alarm buttons at the otherwise sleepy IRS).

The scheme worked, but only for a while. The women have pleaded guilty to tax fraud, and face up to 10 years in prison when they are sentenced.

Are you an Oklahoma citizen who is being charged by the IRS with tax fraud? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!

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