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TAX SCAM: Bergen Man Admits Posing As 18 Different Recipients To Collect Refunds

IRS - Criminal Investigation
IRS - Criminal Investigation Photo Credit: IRS.GOV

A Bergen County man admitted collecting tax refunds by using stolen identities to pose as 18 different people.

Emmanuel A. Barrientos-Fermin, 33, of Tenafly told a federal judge via videoconference in Newark on Tuesday that he gave an unnamed co-conspirator a photo of himself.

The accomplice then produced bogus driver’s licenses with his picture on them, he said.

The co-conspirator also gave him matching Social Security cards, driver’s licenses and W-2 forms – even birth certificates, Barrientos-Fermin said.

Armed with the documents, Barrientos-Fermin said, he went to various tax preparing companies posing as taxpayers to file returns.

He collected advance-refund debit cards, then gave them to the accomplice, who paid him $200 for each, Barrientos-Fermin said.

Rather than go trial, Barrientos-Fermin took a deal from the government, pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.

U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15.

Honig credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and special agents with the Newark office of IRS - Criminal Investigation with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Farhat of her Government Fraud Unit in Newark.

She also thanked Totowa police for their assistance.

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