income, part of tax return form, close up shot

Yomarie Febres really thought she would get away with fraud when she filed fraudulent income tax returns as part of a multimillion-dollar tax refund scheme, by completing each return as “self-prepared” as opposed to putting her own name down as the tax form preparer. But her co-conspirators of the massive income tax return scheme, were not going to go to jail without her and let the Agents in the investigation know that  the tax returns filed in the scheme were actually “fraud-prepared” by Febres.

Febres co-conspirators organized seminars across the nation between 2014 and 2015, where they advertised a tax return scheme and enlisted clients to unknowingly submit false tax returns to the IRS by convincing them that their mortgages and other debts qualified them for refunds. Client data was gathered and forwarded to Febres, but it turns out the clients didn’t need to share their mortgage and debt receipts. Febres had no intention of using them.

Febres created false statements for the tax forms that she completed, claiming that the banks and other financial institutions had withheld large amounts of income taxes from the clients, which entitled the clients to refunds. The financial institutions had not paid any income to or withheld any taxes from the clients. She filed 77 false income tax returns in total and sought more than $23.8 million in tax refunds. That’s an average of just over $309,000 per return. In total the IRS paid out more than $15 million in false refunds to scheme participants as a result of the fraudulent forms that Febres produced.

Febres received a percentage for each return she prepared in the scheme but did not file her own taxes in the same manner. On her own 2014- and 2015-income tax filing, Febres not only failed to disclose the income she received in the scheme, she made false business loss claims on her personal tax forms, thus making her guilty of two tax crimes. On July 20, 2022, was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $11,140,842 in restitution to the IRS.

Great job by the IRS-Criminal Investigation who investigated this case.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article, “Georgia Woman Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud Scheme Involving 200 People in 19 States” published by American Justice Notebook on July 20, 2022

A Georgia woman was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday for conspiring to defraud the IRS by promoting a nationwide tax fraud scheme involving more than 200 participants in at least 19 states, officials stated.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Yomarie Febres, of Covington, prepared 77 false income tax returns that collectively sought more than $23.8 million in tax refunds from the IRS.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.