Men get 5 years in $1M phony tax return scheme

Two New York men will spend more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to an identity theft scheme.

Jhan Luis Mejia Marcelino, 27, and Odanys Orlando Rojas, known as “El Fuerte,” 39, both of the Bronx, N.Y., were sentenced Thursday to 61 months each for their roles in the scheme, according to an announcement from Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

The two had previously admitted to stealing personal information like names, Social Security numbers, and other information from people in New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere, between January 2013 and May 2014, authorities said.

The duo used the information to file phony federal tax returns, and receive fraudulent tax return checks, officials said. They pleaded guilty to theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy, authorities said.

The scam cost the government about $1 million, Fitzpatrick said.

In addition to the prison time, the two were also each sentenced to three years of supervised release, and were ordered to pay back $1,109,938 in restitution, officials said.


Leave a Reply