3 sentenced for $13 million scam

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - Three men were sentenced in federal court Wednesday to prison terms and ordered to pay restitution ranging from more than $110,000 to nearly $400,000 for their part in a $13 million IRS scam, according to officials.

IRS spokeswoman Nancy J. Hatfield said Juan Carlos Carrillo-Roy and Miguel Carrillo Borjas were sentenced to 12 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $112,500 in restitution. Luis Gerardo-Vargas was sentenced to 18 months in jail and $388,688 in restitution. IRS officials say the amounts are pending and must be finalized by the Treasury.

All three men waived their right to appeal.

The defendants were involved in a conspiracy that used the U.S. mail to submit more than 10,000 federal income tax returns to the IRS for the 2005-2009 tax years. The tax returns claimed more than $22 million in refunds, with approximately $13 million in refunds were paid by the IRS before criminal investigators discovered that most of the returns filed were fraudulent.

Agents estimate that at least 20 people were involved in operating the scheme in which tax preparers knowingly claimed tax credits or deductions to which filers were not entitled.

The next sentencing hearing on additional defendants is scheduled for June 16.

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