On Tuesday, it was announced that a California resident had been sentenced to 25 months in prison for filing and conspiring to file fraudulent claims for income tax refunds with the IRS. Documents filed with the court showed that 57-year-old Trong Nguyen or John Nguyen and his co-conspirator, 74-year-old Diep Vo aka Nancy Vo, used the identities of homeless and unemployed people in San Jose to submit fraudulent claims for refunds with the Internal Revenue Service.
Nancy Vo was accused of visiting homeless shelters and encampments to attempt to collect identities. She falsely represented that she would be able to get the individuals money from a government program, which was designed to assist individuals that had not worked in previous years. The victims agreed to write down their names, social security numbers and sign blank income tax return forms.
Then, the defendants completed the forms with bogus income and income tax amounts withheld. They ultimately sought more than $1.5 million in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. The defendants instructed the IRS to send the refund checks to private mailboxes that they controlled. Nguyen has also been ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay $700,816 in restitution to the IRS.
Nguyen previously pleaded guilty to the charges in May. Vo has also pleaded guilty. She is scheduled to be sentenced on November 14, 2017.