Man Accused of Using Mexican Families IDs to File Fake Tax Returns
UPDATE: A Milwaukee man is facing federal charges for filing dozens of fake tax returns.
Using personal information from people living in Mexico, court records show 29-year-old Javier Zarate-Flores would file fraudulent tax returns.
One witness told investigators Zarate-Flores offered him $800 for "documents of Mexican families to include birth certificates for parents and their children, voting cards and school records."
Court records show Zarate-Flores' mother, who lives in Mexico, would also help him get the documents. The information was used to create fake W2s and collect tax refund checks.
Between February of 2013 and June of 2014, Zarate-Flores got more than $1 million in refunds.
Authorities caught on to the scam with help from witnesses, who recorded interactions with Zarate-Flores.
According to an affidavit, a witness who cashed the checks, told investigators "Zarate-Flores presented over $1 million in tax refund checks for cashing."
During one conversation Zarate-Flores explained he was starting to have trouble getting the IRS to process the returns because all the information was fake.
So what did Zarate-Flores do with the money? He gambled. Federal documents show he went to Casinos in Milwaukee and Las Vegas on multiple occasions, betting tens of thousands of dollars each time. In total he bet more than $1.2 million.
A local man is accused of taking documents from Mexican families and using it to create false tax returns and collecting the refunds.
Javier Zarate-Flores is charged in federal court for embezzlement and theft of public money.
The charge stems from incidents that happened between February 2013 and April 28 2015.
According to the affidavit, the defendant allegedly paid around a hundred dollars to individuals in Mexico for turning over their documents to scheme participants. The documents were shipped to the United States for the purpose of securing an ITIN number and filing fraudulent tax return.
The defendant allegedly kept a spreadsheet for record keeping to track the payments made to scheme participants.
In 2014 alone, the defendant allegedly obtained $102,988.48 in tax refunds.
Latanya Ghee allegedly conspired with Zarate-Flores on the embezzlement.
She allegedly claimed the individuals worked for her company.