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A Downey man who cashed tax refund checks that were issued based on false tax returns and fraudulently obtained more than $1.3 million was sentenced today to 54 months in federal prison.
William Gomez-Corzo, 52, who also used the name "William Perez," was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.
The judge also ordered him to pay $1,320,566 in restitution to the IRS.
Gomez-Corzo pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public money for his role in a scheme that defrauded the IRS of millions of dollars by filing false income tax returns.
As part of the scheme, Gomez-Corzo and his associates used the names and social security numbers of residents of Puerto Rico to file more than 1,000 false federal income tax returns seeking tax refunds based on the earned income credit.
Gomez-Corzo and his co-conspirators used false out-of-state drivers licenses to open private mail boxes to receive the tax refund checks.
Gomez-Corzo also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft for using an identity stolen from a dead man to obtain a United States passport. The 54-month sentence included a mandatory two-year term for the identity theft charge.
The investigation of Ortega was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service.