SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani sentenced Julio Polanco Suarez, age 44, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, to 70 months’ imprisonment, for conspiring to defraud the government and for committing aggravated identity theft.
According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Suarez pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the government between March 2009 and September 2016. Suarez and his conspirators obtained fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks by stealing victims’ identities and using those stolen identities to file false tax returns that generated significant refunds. The conspirators then secured the fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks and cashed them at various check cashing businesses, including several in Pennsylvania. Suarez admitted that between $1.5 million and $3.5 million in losses to the U.S. Treasury occurred as a result of the criminal activity.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mariani highlighted the losses caused to the United States government by the scheme, and how Suarez, who is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, abused the rights and freedoms he enjoyed while living in the United States. Suarez faces deportation at the conclusion of his sentence of imprisonment. Judge Mariani also ordered Suarez to pay $1,189,256.50 in restitution.
Three other defendants were convicted and sentenced in the course of the investigation:
- Marien Torres-Acevedo, age 38, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 75 months’ imprisonment and faces deportation;
- Francisco Rodriguez-Polanco, age 35, of New York, New York, was sentenced to 54 months’ imprisonment and faces deportation; and
- Alfred LiPuma, age 81, of Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to three years of probation and paid $2.1 million in restitution and fines.
The matter was investigated by agents from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspectors, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies. Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo prosecuted the case.
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USAO - Pennsylvania, Middle;
Department of the Treasury OIG