The owner of a fraudulent tax preparation business, Ariel Jimenez, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling the stolen identities of thousands of children on welfare and helping ‘clients’ claim wrongly tax credits, causing tens of millions of dollars in tax loss.
His “clients” used the stolen identity information (names, dates of birth and social security numbers) to fraudulently add the children as dependents on their tax returns so that they would get a refund when they filed their taxes.
Jimenez founded the company behind this tax evasion scheme and identity theft conspiracy in 2007 in Bronx, New York.
With the help of his co-conspirators, he began selling the identities of hundreds of vulnerable minors (stolen by a New York Human Resources Administration fraud investigator) to thousands profiting from this. stratagem.
The HRA of NYC is a government department responsible for alleviating poverty by providing food and emergency rental assistance to New Yorkers in need.
“While working at the HRA, CW-1 obtained the names and identifying information of the children from the welfare management system and sold those names to [..] the defendant, so that JIMENEZ could list these children as dependents on the tax returns that JIMENEZ prepared for JIMENEZ’s clients,” according to court documents (CW-1 being a cooperating witness).
Stolen identities sold as “little chickens”
The defendant spent more than a million dollars in some years selling more than a thousand stolen child identities which he called “pollitos”, which means “little chickens”.
He has also earned hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing fraudulent tax returns for his clients. Millions of these funds have been used to buy real estate, cars, jewelry or gambling around the world.
“JIMENEZ’s use of stolen identities harmed the true guardians of the children who were fraudulently claimed as dependents,” the DOJ said. said in a statement Monday.
“In some cases, the people actually caring for these children have had their much-needed tax refunds delayed and had to prove their real connection to their own dependent children.”
12 years behind bars
Jimenez was arrested in November 2018 along with several co-conspirators and sentenced in February of aggravated identity theft, fraud and money laundering following a two-week jury trial.
He was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison, forfeiture of several Bronx properties and $14,580,000, and restitution of $44,769,906.
“Ariel Jimenez’s tax and impersonation crimes have cruelly forced his victims to endure bureaucratic snafus and agonizing delays for their much-needed tax refunds,” the prosecutor said. American Damian Williams in February.
“Today’s sentencing holds Jimenez responsible for brazenly selling children’s identities to his clients for his own gain,” Williams added today.