The Department of Justice had a record breaking year in recovering nearly $6 Billion dollars in money that was obtained by individuals and corporations who were defrauding the government.
2015 has started out with sentencing of three Miami, Florida residents who ran a fraudulent tax refund scheme. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wifredo Ferrer announced on Friday that his team coordinated efforts with both the Justice Department’s Tax Division and the IRS Criminal Investigation offices in Miami to arrest and convict Sean Anthony Lopez, Claudia Zuloaga and Sharon Elizabeth Angulo.
Mr. Lopez, of Miami submitted false personal federal income tax returns claiming $625, 320 in fraudulent refunds. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to repay the U.S. Treasury nearly $700,000.
The co-defendants Ms. Zuloaga and Ms. Angulo, also both of Miami owned and operated the Sterling Executive Associates, Inc and Sterling Executive, two South Miami-Dade County tax preparation businesses. The two were convicted of preparing and assisting Mr. Lopez in filing his false tax returns as well as numerous others between 2008 and 2010. They would submit the false returns in exchange for 30% of the anticipated of the fraudulently obtained refunds. they were responsible for claiming $5.4 million in fraudulent refunds, which resulted in $2.3 million in false refund checks.. Both were sentenced to 5 years in Federal Prison and ordered to pay over $1.5 in restitution to the U.S. Treasury. We commend U.S. Attorney Ferrer and his team of special agents, investigators and trial lawyers who prosecuted the case.
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Cases like this fall under the qui tam provisions found within the False Claim Act. Currently, false claim/whistleblowers cases represent most of the case filed on behalf of the United States government. Whenever the government investigates fraud tips like this, or fraudulent medicaid billing or social security scams and then subsequently recovers money; the whistleblower may receive as much as 30 percent of the settlement.
We are currently representing a number of clients in Qui Tam cases and work closely with the United States Attorneys in investigating and prosecuting those people, businesses and hospitals who defraud the U.S. goverment of money. Our clients receive the benefit of our years of experiences as well as our close professional relationships with federal prosecutors.
Contact a Miami Whistleblower Attorney Today
If you believe you have information about a potential whistleblower case, please contact our office today for a free initial consultation by calling 1-866-597-4529 or email us at [email protected] One of the most important elements to successfully recovering your reward is to be the first to report or relate the fraud. So, if you think you may know of a potential matter, please call today.