On Monday, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced that two IRS employees had pleaded guilty to helping others prepare false tax returns and making fraudulent tax returns as an employee of the United States. Documents in the case show that 49-year-old Della Ornelas and 53-year-old Randall Ruff are married. Between the years of 2005 and 2012, the couple filed false tax returns for family and friends with added dependents.
The returns generated large tax refunds that were diverted into bank accounts they controlled. In some cases, the defendants filed the tax refunds without the taxpayer’s knowledge or permission. The defendants also filed false tax returns for themselves with fraudulently added dependents. Over the course of seven years, Ruff defrauded the U.S. of roughly $53,227. Ornelas defrauded the U.S. of approximately $76,897.
The case comes after an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Mark J. McKeon is responsible for prosecuting. The two defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on November 13, 2017.