California Resident Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to File Fraudulent Tax Returns Seeking More Than $9.7 Million in Refunds
A Salinas, California, resident pleaded guilty today to conspiring to file fraudulent claims for income tax refunds, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Alex G. Tse for the Northern District of California.
According to documents and information provided to the court, during 2012, Ana Bajo a/k/a Ana Covarrubias, 43, conspired with others to obtain the personal identifying information of others and use it to file more than 2,300 fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These returns reported fake wages and fraudulently claimed dependents, education expenses and tax credits. In total, the returns sought approximately $9.7 million in refunds, of which the IRS paid more than $7.5 million. Bajo, and her co-conspirators, directed the fraudulently obtained refund checks into bank accounts that they controlled.
U.S. District Court Judge Koh scheduled sentencing for Sept. 26. Bajo faces a statutory maximum sentence of ten years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and Acting U.S. Attorney Tse commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Pitman and Trial Attorney Christopher Magnani of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.