A York City man could face up to 10 years in federal prison for his alleged involvement in a scheme that defrauded the Internal Revenue Service of $123,000.
Alexander Rivera Bartolomey, 34, is accused of conspiring to submit false and fraudulent claims for payment to the IRS, federal prosecutors in Harrisburg said on Wednesday.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, from early January 2009 to March 2009, Bartolomey allegedly worked with Carmen Olga Real, a manager of a tax service franchise in York City, to prepare and send false tax returns in order to obtain fraudulent refunds.
Real, and a number of other people involved in the scheme, pleaded guilty to charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.
The scheme: As part of the tax fraud scheme, Real prepared federal tax returns for clients with false information, including a combination of bogus dependents, head of household filing statuses, earned income tax credits, and child tax credits, officials said.
By including this information on the tax returns, Real was able to generate larger refunds for her clients.
The tax refunds were then split among the co-conspirators, including Real, her tax clients and others involved in the conspiracy, according to federal court records.
Bartolomey allegedly recruited clients for Real, officials said.
If convicted of his involvement, Bartolomey could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine, officials said.
Real worked with someone in Puerto Rico who gave her the Social Security numbers and dates of birth of children there, which Real then would sell to her clients so that they could claim dependents they didn't have, prosecutors allege.
Because of the tax laws governing Puerto Rico, Real believed it was unlikely that the IRS would detect that the same child was listed as a dependant on two separate returns, prosecutors said.
Guilty pleas: Real submitted about 29 fraudulent tax returns to the IRS, with a total loss estimated at $123,433, according to prosecutors.
Bartolomey is the last alleged participant of the scheme, which was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigations, to be charged.
Real was first investigated for the scheme by York City Police Detective Bill Follmer, who eventually filed charges against her in 10 separate cases.
In August 2010, all the charges filed against Real in York County Court were dismissed, according to court records.
However, Real pleaded guilty in federal court in June to conspiring to submit false and fraudulent claims for payment to the IRS, according to federal court documents.
She faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Noradia Savinon pleaded guilty in July to making false claims to the United States. Savinon faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to federal court documents.
In May, Patricia Vargas also pleaded guilty to making false claims to the United States and also faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to federal court documents.
All three women are awaiting sentencing, officials said.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.