Southern Arizona man sentenced to prison for fraudulent tax return scheme


Date: July 12, 2021


Phoenix, AZ — On July 8, 2021, Luis Alberto Ortiz-Garcia was sentenced to 28 months in prison and ordered to pay $587,367 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Ortiz-Garcia previously pleaded guilty to money laundering and unlawful use of means of identification. Ortiz-Garcia is a longtime resident of southern Arizona and has lived in Tucson and Nogales since 2006.

Beginning in at least January 2010, Ortiz-Garcia filed false income tax returns with the IRS using the personal identification information ("PII") of others to generate fraudulent tax refunds. He obtained the PII by purchasing documents from individuals living on or around the Mexican border, obtaining PII from others engaged in the false tax return scheme, or stole PII while volunteering tax preparation services.

Ortiz-Garcia utilized the PII he obtained to prepare the false income tax returns that commonly included falsified wages, employers, tax withholdings, fictitious dependents, and falsified claims for tax credits in order to generate larger refunds. Between January 2010 and December 2015, the defendant filed approximately $1,151,491.00 in fraudulent tax refunds.

IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation in this case with assistance from the Phoenix Police Department. The United States Attorney's Office, District of Arizona, handled the prosecution.