BOSTON – Two Lawrence men were charged in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with a scheme to file fraudulent federal income tax returns using stolen identities.
Furvio Flete-Garcia, 42, and Juan Santiago, 36, nationals of the Dominican Republic, were indicted on conspiracy to defraud the United States, theft of government property, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, in 2013 and 2014, Flete-Garcia and Santiago allegedly possessed more than 800 names and social security numbers of U.S. citizens, including Puerto Rican residents, which Santiago allegedly sold to another individual for the purpose of using those identities to prepare and file fraudulent federal income tax returns. The indictment further alleges that Flete-Garcia and Santiago sold more than 16 U.S. Treasury tax refund checks with a total face value of more than $100,000 to the same individual. These tax refund checks were issued by the IRS as a result of the fraudulent income tax returns that were filed using the stolen identities.
The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of theft of government property and access device fraud each provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Lisa A. Quinn, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Boston Field Division, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Corey J. Smith of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division.