Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

September 08, 2016

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

Florida Man Admits Role In Stolen Identity Income Tax Refund Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. - -Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, and Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced a Miami man admitted that he was responsible for depositing over $4.7 million in fraudulently obtained tax refund checks as part of a massive stolen identity income tax scheme.
 
Roberto Diaz, 47, formerly of Demarest, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, one count of theft of government funds, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Members of the conspiracy obtained personal identifiers, such as dates of birth and Social Security numbers, belonging to Puerto Rican citizens. Afterwards, they completed Individual Income Tax Return 1040 Forms using the fraudulently obtained information and made it appear that the “taxpayers” listed on the fraudulent returns were entitled to refunds. They also directed the U.S. Treasury Department to issue refunds to locations they could control or access in various ways.

Diaz admitted that during the course of the conspiracy, he was responsible for depositing or causing the deposit of over $4.7 million in fraudulently obtained tax refund checks.

Diaz is facing potential penalties of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and 10 years in prison for the theft of government funds charge.  For the aggravated identity theft charge, Diaz is facing a mandatory two years in prison which must run consecutive to any other term imposed. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2017.

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