An Illinois man was sentenced to 29 months in prison today for using stolen identities to file false tax returns.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Wilmer Alexander Garcia Meza, of Waukegan, used others’ personal identifying information — including their names, dates of birth and identification documents such as foreign passports — to fraudulently obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) from the IRS. An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to individuals who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number. From 2013 through 2017, Garcia used the ITINs to file tax returns in the name of the stolen identities, claiming thousands of dollars in fraudulent refunds. Garcia then used identification documents in those same names to cash the refund checks issued by the IRS. In total, Garcia caused a tax loss of approximately $221,923.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo ordered Garcia Meza to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $221,923 in restitution to the United States.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Thomas Flynn and Jacob Green of the Tax Division prosecuted the case. Former Trial Attorneys Michael Landman and Eric Schmale of the Tax Division provided valuable assistance on the case.