Orlando man orchestrated $1.15 million tax fraud scheme through fake returns

An Orlando man has admitted to filing false tax returns on behalf of clients and generating over $1.15 million in fraudulent funds from the Internal Revenue Service.

Rafael Ramos pled guilty on Wednesday, September 6 to conspiracy to defraud the United States, filing a false tax return, and aiding and assisting the preparation of a false tax return.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Middle District of Florida, Ramos recruited clients and prepared tax returns on their behalf that falsely claimed that “banks and other financial institutions had withheld large amounts of taxes from the clients’ income.”

To further the scheme, Ramos and his co-conspirators filed false documents with the IRS, purporting to have been issued by the banks, to support the false withholding information reported on teh returns.

When the IRS initiated proceedings to collect the fraudulently-issued returns, Ramos met with his clients and attempted to obstruct the IRS’s efforts. According to court records, Ramos provided his clients with “frivolous correspondence” to send to the IRS and instructed his clients to inform the IRS that they “self-prepared their returns.” Furthermore, Ramos told clients to move funds out of their bank accounts to avoid IRS levies.

In total, Ramos’ scheme caused a total loss to the IRS of over $1.15 million.

Ramos is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy, as well as three years in prison for each false return count. he also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalities.

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