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Case Number: 3:21-cr-00113
Judge: Janet Bond Arterton
Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in New Haven
Description: New Have, Connecticut criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.
From approximately May 2013 to April 2017, OLGA AUCAPINA, also known as Olga Aucapina Paredes, 53, a citizen of Ecuador residing in Woodbridge, and several other Ecuadoran nationals participated in a scheme to illegally obtain tax refunds from the IRS. In order to obtain the refunds, Aucapina and others filed fraudulent federal tax returns, in the names of other foreign nationals (“claimants”), with the IRS. The fraudulent tax returns stated that the claimants resided in the U.S., earned wages from companies in the U.S., and had federal income tax withheld from the claimants’ wages. In truth, the claimants never worked for or earned income from those companies. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection have no records of the claimants even being present in the U.S. during the tax years for which the returns were filed. Based on these false tax returns, the IRS issued tax refunds, which were then deposited into bank accounts that were controlled by Aucapina and her associates
Through this scheme, Aucapina and her associates obtained 142 tax refunds, totaling approximately $435,500. Aucapina personally deposited 59 of those refunds, totaling approximately $177,589, into her own bank accounts. Aucapina and her associates spent some of the proceeds for their personal use, and they wired some of the proceeds to relatives in Ecuador.
Aucapina, who is released on bond, is required to report to prison on May 30.
On July 16, 2021, Aucapina and three others with were arrested on an indictment charging them with various offenses stemming from this scheme. On February 14, 2022, Aucapina pleaded guilty to theft of public money. Her co-defendants pleaded guilty to related charges.
This matter has been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Arterton ordered Aucapina to pay restitution of $177,589.