Bergen County man sentenced to two years in prison for filing phony tax returns

 

Date: April 12, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Newark, NJ — A Bergen County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 24 months and two days in prison for his role in a scheme to file fraudulent tax returns in victims' names in order to obtain tax refunds to which he was not entitled, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Emmanuel A. Barrientos-Fermin previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of access device fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence today via videoconference.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2020, through February 2020, Barrientos and others conspired to utilize stolen personal identifying information (PII) to submit fraudulent tax returns in victims' names, in order to obtain tax refunds without the victims' knowledge or consent. A conspirator would obtain falsified Social Security cards, driver's licenses, birth certificates and W-2s bearing the victims' stolen PII and provide them to Barrientos-Fermin and other, who would use them to file tax returns at various tax preparation company branches posing as the victims.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi sentenced Barrientos-Fermin X years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $17,373 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins; postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, Philadelphia Division with the investigation leading to today's sentencing. He also thanked the Totowa, New Jersey, Police Department, for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fatime Meka Cano of the U.S. Attorney's Office Government Fraud Unit in Newark.