Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on February 2, 2018, Dimas Chavez-Pina (age 29), of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pled guilty to theft of government money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. Chavez-Pina agreed to pay $1,058,827.69 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Chavez-Pina additionally agreed to be voluntarily deported from the United States and return to Mexico due to his lack of legal status in the United States.
According to the plea agreement, Chavez-Pina fraudulently obtained Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) from the IRS. An ITIN is what the IRS issues to individuals who cannot, due to their immigration status, obtain a Social Security number. Individuals who obtain an ITIN use it to file their income tax returns.
To obtain an ITIN, an applicant has to provide the IRS certain personal identifying documents. Chavez-Pina admitted to obtaining personal identifying documents from citizens of Mexico, fraudulently applying for ITINs in their names, and then filing fraudulent tax returns using the ITINs that he obtained.
In the fraudulent tax returns that he filed, Chavez-Pina claimed the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The ACTC reduces tax liability dollar for dollar, and the unused portion of a refundable credit is still payable to the taxpayer. So, when an individual has no income tax liability, a person may still file a tax return and receive a refund for the ACTC. Chavez-Pina falsely claimed dependents in the tax returns that he filed to receive the ACTC.
From 2011 through June 2014, Chavez-Pina received $1,058,827.69 in U.S. Treasury refund checks from his scheme. Chavez-Pina faces a mandatory minimum two years in prison, and a maximum of twelve years in prison for his offenses. He will be sentenced by United States District Judge Lynn Adelman on May 1, 2018. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Keith Alexander.
# # # # #
For additional information contact:
Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig 414-297-1700