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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Monday, January 28, 2013

Orlando Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Scheme Involving Refunds

Orlando, FL - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that Salvador Cuevas (Orlando) today pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the government with respect to false claims. Cuevas faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

Cuevas is part of a fraudulent tax refund scheme using the stolen identities of Puerto Rican residents to obtain paper refund checks. The refunds (Treasury checks) were delivered to various addresses in the Orlando area.

According to the plea agreement, in September 2007, Cuevas opened a checking account at Washington Mutual (now known as JP Morgan Chase). Cuevas was the only signatory on the account. About that same time, he paid another individual $300 to use the individual's address on Venezia Plantation Drive, in Orlando, Florida to receive “mail,” referring to U.S. Treasury checks. ln October 2007, Cuevas began depositing Treasury refund checks into the account. After the checks cleared, large cash withdrawals and/or personal expenditure purchases were made against the account. According to the WAMU bank records, the third-party Treasury checks that were deposited represented 75% of the total credits into the account. Cuevas admitted to depositing the refund checks, which were in the names of other people, into his bank account.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tanya Davis Wilson.

Updated January 26, 2015