Evelyn Nunez, 40, of Providence, was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1.4 million dollars in restitution to the IRS and the State of Rhode Island for her role in a scheme to steal personal identifying information of minors named as dependents on legitimate tax returns prepared by her company, NBP Multiservices (NBP), a tax preparation business in Cranston, R.I., and then sold to other tax filers for use on their tax returns in order to increase tax refunds, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation; and Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi also ordered Nunez to serve two years of supervised released upon completion of her prison term. Nunez pleaded guilty on December 12, 2014, to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft.
Two co-defendants in this matter have also pleaded guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing. Tashia Bodden, 37, of Cranston, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government and one count of aggravated identity theft. Wendy Molina, 40, of Cranston, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government.
According to court documents, the Scheme Development Center, a division of the IRS, conducted an analysis of tax returns prepared by individuals working at NBP and identified questionable use of children being claimed as dependents. The use of the dependents led to the refunding by the IRS of hundreds of thousands of dollars under the Earned Income Credit available to low income taxpayers.
According to court records and information presented to the court, an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that between January 2008 and February 2012, taxpayers purchased false dependents for approximately $600 - $700 per dependent. The investigation revealed that on numerous tax returns the defendants falsely claimed dozens of children to be foster children, nieces and nephews of some of their clients. In reality, they had no relation to the taxpayer.
The investigation revealed that the scheme defrauded the IRS of more than $1.34 million dollars and defrauded the State of Rhode Island of more than $65,500 dollars.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.