New York – Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that REBECCA BAYUO, a Bronx tax preparer, was convicted in Manhattan federal court yesterday of preparing false tax returns on behalf of her clients, filing false tax returns in the names of victims whose identities she had previously stolen, and filing false tax returns on her own behalf. BAYUO was convicted after a two-and-half week jury trial before U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated: “Rebecca Bayuo now stands convicted of multiple counts of tax fraud after she abused her position of trust as a tax preparer by systematically violating the nation’s income tax laws. By repeatedly filing fraudulent tax returns for her clients, including using stolen identities to increase tax refunds, Bayuo stole tens of thousands of dollars directly from the U.S. Treasury. For these egregious crimes, Bayuo now faces significant time in federal prison.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, Indictment, and the evidence presented at trial:
BAYUO owned and operated Breakthrough Insurance Brokerage, a tax preparation business, located in the Bronx, New York. From 2010 through 2014, BAYUO used stolen identifying information of victims to file fraudulent federal income tax returns, which generated tax refunds to which BAYUO was not entitled. Specifically, BAYUO repeatedly used stolen identities of dozens of victims, including 11 New York residents who testified at trial, to file false tax returns and unlawfully collect tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in their names for herself. As a result of BAYUO’s criminal conduct, many of the victims were unable to file tax returns as required by law, and were deprived of tax refunds to which they were entitled.
In addition, from 2011 through 2012, BAYUO prepared and submitted to the IRS fraudulent tax returns for her clients that resulted in increased tax refunds, to which her clients were not entitled. Among other things, BAYUO charged her clients an additional fee in exchange for providing them with the stolen identities of children as false “dependents” to claim on their tax returns. BAYUO recycled the same stolen identities as false “dependents” for numerous tax returns, over at least a four-year time period.
Finally, from 2014 to 2015, BAYUO filed false personal income tax returns in her own name, and included in those filings personal identifying information belonging to other individuals that she had stolen. Specifically, on her own tax returns, BAYUO included false “dependents,” whose identities she had stolen, in order to obtain a larger tax refund to which she was not entitled. Three of the victims of this scheme testified at trial.
BAYUO, 48, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted of 12 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison; one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison; and two counts of subscribing to false tax returns, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
BAYUO is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the IRS. The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Mollie Bracewell, Cecilia Vogel, and Sarah E. Paul are in charge of the prosecution.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Thursday, November 2, 2018.