Pair sentenced for filing fraudulent tax returns
Posted November 8, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte women are going to prison for filing 1,100 fraudulent tax returns claiming $5.1 million from the Internal Revenue Service.
The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/1hrazXW ) that prosecutors said 42-year-old Candida Figueroa and 31-year-old Cathy Cisneros sought the refunds using false tax identification numbers.
WRAL Investigates highlighted the women's cases last year in a report showing that the IRS had done little to crack down on fraudulent child tax credits used by people in the U.S. illegally, despite knowing of the problem for years.
Investigators tied at least 17 tax returns, totaling more than $62,000 in refunds, to a Charlotte apartment Figueroa leased. At another apartment nearby, investigators discovered 153 returns valued at $713,000 in refunds. Another address in the same apartment complex had 236 returns worth $1.1 million in refunds.
Cisneros also owned a tax preparation business in a strip mall. A search of that business and her home turned up more returns, dozens of uncashed U.S. Treasury checks, a FedEx box containing dozens of birth certificates of Mexican origin and a notary public stamp and signature stamp listing Cisneros as the notary, bringing the fraud case to more than $5 million.
A judge on Thursday sentenced Figueroa to 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Cisneros was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to serve three years under court supervision after her prison term. Both women pleaded guilty last year.