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Pennsylvania Man Guilty of $295K Tax Fraud Using Stolen Puerto Rican Names

The returns filed by Morales and the conspirator were filed using stolen names, social security numbers and birthdates of Puerto Rican residents, the records say.

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An Easton, Pennsylvania, man admitted on June 22 that he sought more than $295,000 in fraudulent federal tax refunds, according to a news release.

Stalyn Morales, 42, used identities he stole from other individuals to perpetrate the tax scam between January 2011 and June 2015, online court records say.

The records say the returns were filed on behalf of Puerto Rican residents. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory but most of its residents aren’t required to file U.S. tax returns if their income is derived from Puerto Rico. The returns filed by Morales and the conspirator were filed using stolen names, social security numbers and birthdates of Puerto Rican residents, the records say.

Morales pleaded guilty to submitting false tax claims and to aggravated identity theft before United States District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Investigators discovered the fraud through an analysis of the computers at Morales’ business, MDFA Auto in Allentown. Morales lives on North 13th Street in Easton.

The IRS detected the fraud in time to deny most of the requests for refunds, according to the news release. As part of his plea, Morales will be ordered to pay restitution of the funds disbursed before the fraud was detected.

“Morales’ scheme victimized honest taxpayers in two ways: first, by stealing their identities and second, by trying to rip off the federal government,” said United States Attorney William M. McSwain in a prepared statement. “Now, he will face the consequences, as will anybody else who attempts to carry out a similar scheme.”

Morales faces a maximum possible sentence of seven years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine.

Morales’ attorney, Glennis Clark, didn’t return a message seeking comment. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 2.

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