Somerville Tax Preparer Charged With Identity Theft and Tax Fraud
Rosa Ivette Colon ran X-Press Taxes at various offices in Somerville and prepared fraudulent tax returns for Spanish-speaking clients, according to an announcement from the U.S. District Attorney.
The following was provided by the U.S. District Attorney's office for the district of Massachusetts:
TAX PREPARER CHARGED WITH I.D. THEFT AND TAX OFFENSES
BOSTON - A Milford woman who ran a tax preparation business in Somerville has been arrested and charged with identity theft and tax fraud charges relating to her operation of that business.
Rosa Ivette Colon, 44, was arrested and charged with aggravated identity theft, filing false claims with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and forging endorsements on United States Treasury checks in a 32 count indictment returned by a grand jury sitting in Boston, on Dec. 7, 2011.
According to the indictment, Colon operated a business called X-Press Taxes in various offices in Somerville, where she prepared fraudulent income tax returns for clients whose primary language was Spanish. During the tax years 2004 through 2010, Colon prepared hundreds of client income tax returns and, according to the indictment, Colon repeatedly included false and inflated expenses, deductions and credits, including claims for non-existent dependents, on client income tax returns in an attempt to fraudulently lower the clients’ tax liabilities and in many cases boost clients’ refunds.
The indictment also alleges that on numerous dates, when preparing income tax returns for clients, Colon prepared two different versions of the income tax return. One version of the prepared return was provided to the client while Colon allegedly filed a different version of the return with the IRS – without the client’s knowledge – seeking a larger income tax refund. Colon then pocketed the additional refund amount by directing that the refunds due from the tax return be split between her clients’ bank accounts and bank accounts that she controlled.
The indictment further alleges that Colon unlawfully used the identities of three individuals in connection with her fraudulent tax refund scheme. In two instances, it is alleged that she filed tax returns in clients’ names without their knowledge, and in one instance, she claimed a client’s two-year old child as a dependant on another client’s tax return, charging $1,000 for this service.
Finally, the indictment alleges that Colon submitted false personal income tax returns to the IRS on her own behalf. Colon claimed fraudulent refunds by attaching bogus Forms W-2 claiming nonexistent wages and withholdings. If convicted on these charges, Colon faces a two year mandatory minimum sentence for each count of aggravated identity theft, up to five years in prison on each count of filing a false claim with the IRS, and up to 10 years on each count of forging an endorsement on a United States Treasury check.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John DiCicco of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Steven Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul G. Levenson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit along with Trial Attorney Sean R. Delaney of the Tax Division.
The details in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.