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Bronx men admit $300,000 bogus tax return scheme

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Three Bronx men today admitted their roles in trying to scam the IRS out of more than $300,000 in income tax returns that the U.S. Treasury sent to various New Jersey addresses.

Federal investigators recovered the $310,647 while arresting Pedro Rafael Castillo Roman, 27, Julio Alexander Lara Trinidad, 25, and Luis Figaro, 22, all of whom pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark.

As U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman explained, citizens of Puerto Rico typically do not file tax returns with the IRS as long as all of their income is derived from sources in Puerto Rico. But the crew admitted to a scam that included filing phony individual income tax returns with the IRS using the identities of people in the commonwealth.

U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton set sentencing for April 30.

Fishman credited special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation unit and detectives with the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service, as well as Metuchen (Middlesex County) police with helping crack the case. The pleas were secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys José R. Almonte and Barbara Llanes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.

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