Income Tax Identity Theft Is a Huge Issue for Taxpayers in L.A.

Income Tax Identity Theft Is a Huge Issue for Taxpayers in Los Angeles and Beyond

Many taxpayers endeavor to ensure that all tax obligations are handled in a prompt and accurate manner. These taxpayers ensure that all required filings, such as the annual income tax return, are submitted prior to the initial due date or that an appropriate extension has been filed. Furthermore, these individuals ensure that any tax liability is handled in advance of the due date. Thus, imagine the taxpayer’s surprise when, after faithfully engaging in all required steps, the taxpayer is unable to submit their return due to a return already being filed.

Typically this means that another third-party has fraudulently filed taxes in the taxpayer’s name. This is known as stolen identity return fraud (SIRF). Individuals impacted by tax return fraud often face a difficult battle to correct the problems caused by the fraudulent filings. In some cases the IRS or Department of Justice may come to believe that the taxpayer may have played some role in the fraud. If you are facing the consequences of a SIRF scenario, Robert Hoffman of the Hoffman tax Law Offices can advocate and negotiate with the IRS on your behalf. He can work to resolve your tax issue and help you move forward. If you face a tax audit due to the return fraud, he can help you address the audit process effectively.

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California Businessman Pleads Guilty to Tax fraud & Identity Theft Charges

For every taxpayer that is affected by a fraudulent scheme, there is a mastermind behind the scam. On November 10, 2015 two individuals who had carried out a SIRF scheme pleaded guilty to charges stemming from their actions. According to prosecutors Frank Ruben Candelaria and Edgar Rene Nunez began to file false income tax returns in the name and identity of others in December of 2008. Typically Nunez and Candelaria would obtain and use the names and Social Security numbers of others and use them without their permission or knowledge. The co-conspirators would also typically supply fabricated income and employment information and would routinely request large refunds through false tax credits or tax exemptions.

The accused individuals would retrieve the refunds by directing the return back to mailboxes that Nunez, Candelaria, or others controlled. In other cases, the co-conspirators would arrange to have the funds electronically transferred to bank accounts controlled by Nunez and others.
Candelaria was also accused of engaging in income tax fraud on his own tax return. Candelaria was accused of claiming false refunds of $9,955 and $9,720 in the 2006 and 2007 tax years, respectively.

What Consequences Can You Face for Income Tax Refund Fraud?

Both the individuals accused of committing tax fraud and the targets of the scheme can experience serious consequences. In the case of the accused, the consequences are often criminal in nature. For the victims of the fraud, there is often a significant amount of work to be done cleaning-up the mess caused by the fraudulent filing.

Here, Nunez entered a guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy to submit false claims, nine counts of submitting false claims against the U.S. government, two counts of mail fraud, and a single count of identity theft. In all, Nunez can face up to 97 years in prison and a fine of up to $3.2 million if he receives the maximum possible sentence. Candelaria has yet to be sentenced but pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of making false claims against the United States by filing fraudulent tax returns. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, and has agreed to pay back more than $500,000 in restitution.

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Facing Difficulties Due to Income Tax Fraud?

If you are facing tax problems due to income tax return fraud or other types of tax fraud, the Hoffman Law Offices can provide on-point solutions and guidance to address your concern. Our team of tax professionals are dedicated to managing the process to mitigate the consequences you face. We work to develop your case and present evidence in support of your goals in resolving the matter. To schedule a free and confidential tax consultation, call our firm at 800-897-3915 or contact us online today.

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