BOSTON (WWLP) – A man from Salem was sentenced to prison in connection with two fraud schemes involving COVID-19 relief funds and tax returns submitted using stolen identities.
According to the Department of Justice in Boston, 42-year-old Roosevelt Fernandez was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $198,402 in restitution and forfeiture.
Fernandez pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on January 6th. Fernandez was a tax preparer who operated a Salem-based tax preparation business called Soluciones Multi Service. He used IDs of certain taxpayers to prepare and file fraudulent federal and state tax returns on their behalf without their knowledge. There were approximately 40 fraudulent tax returns associated with Fernandez that totaled more than $620,000 in requested refunds.
In May 2020, a fraudulent stimulus payment was deposited into the Soluciones Multi Service account. In addition, Fernandez applied for 10 Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a result, SBA deposited $274,800 into the business account.
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