IRS-CI seeks help locating fugitive wanted for role in stolen identity refund fraud scheme

 

Date: April 22, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) seeks assistance locating a fugitive charged with conspiracy to steal public funds, theft of public funds and aggravated identity theft for his role in a Manhattan-based stolen identity refund fraud scheme. This case is being investigated by IRS-CI and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Jose "Monty" Montilla was indicted April 21 for his role in a scheme that used the identities of Puerto Rican residents to prepare fraudulent, inflated tax returns for customers of JS Taxes, a Manhattan-based tax preparation business. The customers then cashed the fraudulent refund checks they received from the IRS and provided a portion of the proceeds – about $1,800 per refund – back to JS Taxes. The scheme generated about $1 million in fraudulent refunds from tax returns filed for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.

"Tax fraud is not a victimless crime, and this case is testament to that," said Tom Fattorusso, special agent in charge of the IRS-CI New York Field Office. "Our undercover operations revealed that hundreds of Puerto Rican residents had their personal information stolen as part of a scheme to file fraudulent taxes. We need the public's assistance in locating one of the coconspirators in this scheme to ensure he faces criminal proceedings for the crimes he allegedly committed."

Individuals can report information about Montilla's whereabouts to IRS-CI by calling 212-436-1316.

Montilla was originally charged by criminal complaint in April 2018 for his role in this scheme.