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Planada man headed to prison for tax scheme

POSTED December 10, 2012 4:37 p.m.

A Planada man, who submitted more than 100 false tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service over two years, was sentenced Monday to 11 months in federal prison.

Rafael Duran Garcia, 26, was found guilty of operating a tax scheme that netted him thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, from September 2007 to April 2009, Garcia filed 121 false federal income tax returns to the IRS in the names of third parties in a scheme to obtain tax refund checks. The tax returns were submitted to the IRS with W-2 forms claiming false wage and withholding information.

 Garcia had the refund checks sent to addresses and residences that he had access to, or which he controlled. When he received the tax refund checks, he cashed them through check cashing businesses.  In some cases, a signature which purported to be that of the payee of the check was affixed to the back of the tax refund checks as an endorsement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Garcia made fraudulent claims for more than $186,000 in federal tax refunds, some of which were identified by the IRS as fraudulent returns and no refund checks were issued. The IRS suffered an actual loss of approximately $29,840 due to the scheme. Garcia was order to make restitution in that amount, which he has already done.

Garcia was taken into federal custody following his sentence hearing on Monday.

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