Mail Fraud Plea for McHenry Tax Preparation Service Admits Filing for Refunds for Eleven Mexicans

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

CARPENTERSVILLE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MAIL FRAUD

ROCKFORD — A Carpentersville, Ill. man pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis to mail fraud.

ROBERTO FISHER, 50, admitted in a written plea agreement that from March 9, 2010 to May 25, 2013, he and others devised and participated in a
scheme to defraud and to obtain money from the U.S. Treasury Dept.

In the plea agreement, Fisher admitted that from March 9, 2010 through May 18, 2012, he met with Patty Cordoba, the owner and manager of PATTY’S TAX SERVICE (“PTS”), a tax preparation business that operated in Capron and McHenry, Ill., and other PTS employees including Mario Cordoba, Luisa Carbajal, and Alicia Arevalo, to provide information to PTS in order to have fraudulent tax returns prepared and filed on behalf of individuals who resided in Mexico.

As part of the scheme to defraud, Fisher provided false information about individuals who resided in Mexico in order to obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers to file fraudulent federal income tax returns.

During that time period, Fisher provided PTS with identifying information for 11 individuals and their dependents, all of whom resided in Mexico.

Fisher admitted he told those individuals that he was going to use their information for tax purposes and that he would give them money for allowing him to use their information.

Fisher admitted that he provided the fraudulent individual tax identification numbers to Patty Cordoba and other employees of PTS to prepare 53 fraudulent Form 1040s in the those names.

After May 18, 2012, Fisher continued the scheme to defraud by preparing 4 additional fraudulent Form 1040s for the 2012 tax year and signed the 4 returns in the names of those individuals.

Fisher admitted that he, Patty Cordoba, Mario Cordoba, Luisa Carbajal and Alicia Arvealo and other PTS employees mailed the 57 returns to the IRS Service Centers in Austin, Texas, Fresno, California, and Kansas City Missouri.

Fisher also admitted that after some of the returns were filed, the IRS requested additional information on some of the returns filed and that he provided letters to Patty Cordoba and other PTS employees who prepared letters in response to the IRS letters.

Patty Cordoba signed the letters in the names of the other individuals and either Fisher or Patty Cordoba or another PTS employee mailed the letters to the IRS.

Based on the 57 false and fraudulent Form 1040s submitted to the IRS, the United States Treasury issued and mailed tax refund checks to the addresses listed on the false tax returns in the names of those individuals.

Patty Cordoba opened bank accounts in the names of 10 individuals.

Fisher deposited the 57 tax refund checks into those accounts or into his own bank account and withdrew the funds from some of the bank accounts.

As a result of Fisher’s filing of the 57 fraudulent tax returns, the IRS issued approximately $207,467 in refunds to which Fisher was not entitled.

Fisher faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release of up to 3 years following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from that offense, whichever is greater.

The actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines. Sentencing for Fisher is set for March 27, 2020, at 10:30 a.m.

In a related case, PATTY CORDOBA, formerly of Crystal Lake, Ill., pleaded guilty to mail fraud and on Sept. 28, 2016, was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072.

Co-defendants in that case also pleaded guilty to mail fraud, including:

  • ALICIA AREVALO, then of Poplar Grove, Ill., sentenced on August 29, 2016, to 21 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072;
  • CESAR BESICHE (also known as Cesar Beciche-Barranco), then of McHenry, Ill., sentenced on March 15, 2016, to time served and was ordered released to the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for processing of deportation proceedings against him, and also ordered to pay restitution of $74,902;
  • LUISA CARBAJAL, then of Marengo, Ill., sentenced on June 23, 2016, to 16 months in federal prison, to be followed by a term of supervised release of 2 years, and ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072;
  • MARIO CORDOBA, then of Crystal Lake, Ill., sentenced on September 1, 2016, to 33 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $1,115,072;
  • OLGA LIDIA DIAZ- HERNANDEZ (also known as OLGA DIAZ), then of McHenry, Ill., sentenced on July 8, 2016, to 21 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $166,296;
  • VERONICA SANCHEZ-BARRADAS, then of McHenry, Ill., sentenced on June 7, 2016, to 27 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $252,398; and,
  • VICTOR HERNANDEZ, then of McHenry, Ill., sentenced on May 31, 2016, to 27 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $252,398.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division; Craig Goldberg, Inspector in Charge of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.


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