WRAL Investigates

Tax preparer helps nab pair accused of fraud

Posted May 16, 2013

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— A local tax preparer working as a government witness led to the arrest of two women charged in a tax fraud scheme involving people suspected of living in the U.S. illegally.

The tax fraud scheme is a $4 billion problem across the United States that involves suspected illegal immigrants getting billions of dollars in tax credits for children who don't live in America, or don’t even exist, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Mother, daughter accused of income tax fraud Mother, daughter accused of income tax fraud

Angela Flores and her daughter, Karen Mejia, are accused of wrongly getting more than $60,000 in tax refunds this year. They made their initial appearances in federal court in Raleigh on Thursday.

The criminal complaint states Flores told the tax preparer to take children from one tax return and put them on others to help cash in on the federal child tax credit.

The preparer first became a government informant in 2009 – during another tax fraud investigation involving Flores.

The scheme was so profitable that, when the preparer said he was getting heat from the IRS and $100 per return wasn't enough, Flores and Mejia quickly agreed to pay start paying him $350 cash for each return, according to court documents.

Seven months ago, WRAL Investigates highlighted a similar multimillion-dollar scheme out of the Charlotte area.

Investigators uncovered more than 1,000 tax returns last year linked to eight addresses in North Carolina, with refunds worth more than $5 million. Agents confiscated hundreds of refund checks, lists of Hispanic names, a box of Mexican birth certificates and tax returns sent to people linked to falsified documents.

The IRS has tightened rules for child tax credits this year in an effort to fight fraud, and several people have been arrested in eastern North Carolina in recent months on fraud charges.

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  • glarg May 23, 2013

    "Agents confiscated hundreds of refund checks, lists of Hispanic names, a box of Mexican birth certificates and tax returns sent to people linked to falsified documents."

    Mexican birth certificates, all these documents to fake, running into a real enforcement group in the IRS- all so much risk.

    None of that is necessary for a little voter fraud. And it probably pays better too.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 20, 2013

    @imback and @timexliving, the point that you’re trying to make is that “we” are here and “they” are not, so they should just self-deport and just stay away from “our” country. Are you not?

    According to this logic...of your own argument... can you see how the people who were here before us, regardless of where they were from, were here...before...us. Therefore “we” are intruders of an equal level to the people you now want to keep out.

    Is this “do unto others” thing really that difficult to grasp?

    And, what about “forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”? (if that is of any importance to you)

    Can you at least be honest enough with yourself to acknowledge your hypocrisy here?

  • djofraleigh May 17, 2013

    Such news is another nail in the coffin of burying public confidence in the Federal government. This has admittedly being going on for years to get the conservative 4 billion tally.

  • djofraleigh May 17, 2013

    Story -- Angela Flores and her daughter, Karen Mejia, are accused of wrongly getting more than $60,000 in tax refunds this year.

    COMMENT - there is a strong element of fraud against the immigrants here.

    This commenter must assume the immigrants are so stupid they didn't know they were making false claims and getting undue returns! Who is the ignorant one with head-in-the-sand?

  • FairPlay May 17, 2013

    This is why the border should be closed. Billions that could go towards helping people who are citizens.

  • RebelCat May 17, 2013

    Sad what this country has been reduced to.

  • jdraleigh May 17, 2013

    The tax preparer was part of this scheme -- he/she was asking more and more money -- then got caught and became a government witness. Sadly, some of these tax preparers encourage this kind of fraud. Often young immigrants become persuaded that this is the way we all do our taxes here and that it is winked at. Not that the two women are innocent, but there is a strong element of fraud against the immigrants here. That tax preparer may also prepare worthless immigration applications, and charge large amounts for doing so. This is not rare at all.

  • wildlifeprocessing May 17, 2013

    Can someone please tell me why illegals are getting child tax credits in the first place? The system is so mismanaged that even people that cant be in the US are getting refunds. Yet another example of entitlements going overboard. These are the very people who the democrats want to give citizenship to so they can get a few more votes. Its too far gone now and worse to come.

  • donnied19522 May 17, 2013

    I remember a time when people used to come to this country legally to work hard and create an honest and better life for themselves.

    And they came here with nothing! Worked hard, saved their pennys and made something out of themselves their family could be proud of. Now they come just so they can get WIC, Food Stamps, free housing and medical care and the list goes on and on. then they just take take, take, take.

  • Red Sox Nation May 17, 2013

    "Yet just one more reason people don't like illegal immigrants - they simply do not obey the laws!!" -Wake1

    Because everyone living here legally obeys all laws, right? What a moronic comment.

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