Editor's Note: the following press release was issued Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston. The investigating agencies included the IRS Criminal Investigation unit.
A Milford woman, and former tax preparer, was sentenced today to 61 months in prison for filing hundreds of false income tax returns for her clients and identity theft.
Rosa Ivette Colon, 44, was sentenced by District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 61 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. In August 2012, Colon pleaded guilty to a 32-count indictment charging her with aggravated identity theft, filing false claims with the Internal Revenue Service, and forging endorsements on United States Treasury checks.
Colon operated a business called X-Press Taxes in Somerville, Mass. During the tax years 2004 through 2010, Colon prepared hundreds of false income tax returns for her clients. On numerous occasions, when preparing income tax returns for clients, Colon prepared two different versions of the return. Colon gave one version of the return to the client, but filed another version seeking a larger refund with the IRS, and kept the additional fraudulent amount for herself. In addition, Colon submitted false personal income tax returns to the IRS on her own behalf. Colon claimed fraudulent refunds by attaching bogus W-2 forms claiming nonexistent wages and withholdings.
Additionally, Colon unlawfully used the identities of three individuals in connection with her fraudulent tax refund scheme. In two instances, she filed tax returns in individuals’ names without their knowledge, and in one instance, she claimed a client’s two-year old child as a dependent on another client’s tax return, charging $1,000 for this service.
“Filing false tax returns and taking advantage of innocent taxpayers is a serious crime,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “It is especially troubling when such fraud is committed by professionals who were trusted by their clients to submit accurate returns to the IRS. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate tax fraud and hold perpetrators accountable.”
“The Justice Department is committed to stopping return preparers who violate the trust of ordinary taxpayers, and to prosecute them for their tax crimes,” said Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
“IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority," stated William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office.
“Stealing identities and filing fraudulent tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. This sentencing should serve as a strong warning to those considering similar conduct.”
“Cooperation between law enforcement has allowed us to focus our resources and respond quickly to uncover criminal activity such as this type of financial fraud,” said Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Boston Field Office.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz, Assistant Attorney General Keneally, SAC Offord, and SAC Ricciardi, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sean R. Delaney of the Tax Division, who is on detail to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.