COLUMBIA, S.C. — Three Mexican residents were convicted in an upstate fraud scheme lasting four years against the Internal Revenue Service.
Katy Rivera, Jose de Jesus Magana-Escoto and Daniel Chavero-Ramirez, all of Mexico and illegally in the United States, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and for entering the United States without authorization, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Prosecutors said the three operated two tax preparation businesses — Seguros Internacional in Spartanburg and Poz Servicios Para Hispanos in Boiling Springs — from 2006 to November 2009, filing more than 10,000 federal income tax returns and claiming more than $22 million in refunds.
Prosecutors said approximately $13 million in refunds were paid by the IRS before criminal investigators discovered that most of the returns appeared to be fraudulent.
The three convicted Tuesday did not share in the total profits from the scheme, and not actually prepare the false returns. The three worked and were paid only for the specific returns on which they assisted by at least twenty others.
The three remained in custody Tuesday and will be deported after completing whatever sentence is imposed.