ORLANDO, FL - Rafael Ramos of Orlando pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States, filing a false tax return and to aiding and assisting the preparation of a false tax return.
According to a statement released today from Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handbergfor the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, Ramos recruited clients and prepared tax returns on their behalf that falsely claimed banks and other financial institutions had withheld large amounts of taxes from the clients’ income, thereby entitling them to refunds from the IRS. To further the scheme, Ramos and his co-conspirators filed false documents with the IRS, purporting to have been issued by the banks, to support the false withholding information reported on the returns.
When the IRS began proceedings to collect the fraudulently-issued refunds, Ramos met with clients and attempted to thwart the IRS’s efforts by giving his clients frivolous correspondence to send to the IRS. According to court documents and statements made in court, Ramos advised clients to falsely inform the IRS that they self-prepared their returns and told the clients to move funds out of their bank accounts to avoid IRS levies. In total, Ramos’s scheme caused a tax loss to the IRS of over $1.15 million.
Ramos is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 30 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy and three years in prison for each false return count