Lawrence Man Sentenced for Cashing $146,000 in Stolen Tax Refund Checks

BOSTON – A Lawrence man was sentenced last weekin U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with receiving fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks.

Rolfi Espinal, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release and restitution of $13,500.  In April 2016, he pleaded guilty to three counts of receipt of stolen public money.

From September to December 2011, Espinal accepted fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks totaling $146,698, which he cashed through his girlfriend’s bank account.  In January 2013, Espinal falsely told federal agents that he received the checks as payment for used cars that he had sold to an individual, when, in fact, the individual did not exist and Espinal knew that the checks were obtained fraudulently.  Furthermore, Espinal told the agents that he paid taxes on all of the income when he had only paid taxes on $34,000 of business receipts for the 2011 tax year.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Boston; and Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, made the announcement today.  Lawrence Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police also assisted with the investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.