Five persons, who investigators reported them as Cuban nationals, was charged by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for collecting large amounts of money-going up to millions of dollars- in payments. The payments were made by the victims themselves from a minimum of 21 states. The federal court complaints described them as knowing one another as they followed a similar mode of operation.
Huge amount stolen
The five - Jennifer Valerino Nuñez, Arnoldo Perez Mirabal, and Roberto Fontanella Caballero, Dennis Delgado Caballero and Yaritza Espinosa Diaz – stole approximately $36.5 million from a total of 6,400 victims all over the nation. They were stopped in their crime spree when the police in Miami, Fla, arrested them on the charge of making multiple calls. The suspects identified themselves as Treasury or IRS officials, and asked the unwitting victims to pay their supposedly owed debts. The criminals also threatened the victims with arrests if the payments are not made quickly.
The office of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said that the five arrested persuaded their victims to wire the paymemnts through Walmart2Walmart and MoneyGram along with a number of money wiring services. In his statement, Gerald J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector, said that these arrests signify the progress the TIGTA made the investigation of this IRS impersonation scam.
Where it all started
The origin of the arrests was a call made to a fraud hotline in October, 2015. The caller, a woman, reported her husband has received a so called IRS threat and $2,000 payment demand. The latter then started his car so that he could drive to the local Walmart store. The purpose was to wire money. The victim, however, suffered an accident while driving, but instead of seeking medical attention and service for his car, he departed from the accident scene so that the money can be wired in time.
The investigator in charge of the fraud hotline who was the recipient of the victim's report finally traced the concerned wire transfer. The end was Minnesota and the information was duly reported to the TIGTA. Two suspects were identified by checking the Walmart surveillance tapes.
The Treasury Inspector has cautioned taxpayers to be cautious against being duped. He said that the legitimate Treasury and IRS officials will not make calls over the phone for demanding tax payments through the money transfer systems. Investigators believe that he suspects may have utilized electronic equipment which helped them to hide the calling locations.