A man who filed tax returns under the names of several Puerto Ricans in order to reap $5 million in refunds was sentenced this week to 57 months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Downey resident Luis Rodriguez Ortega, 35, was also ordered to pay more than $780,000 in restitution because he actually got nearly $800,000 in returns through the tax-fraud scheme before authorities discovered it, the office stated.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles:
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As part of the scheme, Ortega and his associates used the names and social security numbers of residents of Puerto Rico to file more than 1,000 false federal income tax returns that sought tax refunds based on the earned income credit. Using bogus out-of-state drivers licenses, Ortega and his associates opened private mail boxes, listed the legitimate taxpayers as authorized mail recipients, and asked the IRS to send the fraudulent tax refund checks to the private mail boxes.