Lehigh Valley

Allentown man defrauded IRS of over $2.9 million

Andy O. Rodriguez pleads guilty to tax refund scheme

Man pleads guilty in tax-refund scheme

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -  Andy O. Rodriguez, 26, of Allentown pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the IRS of more than $2.9 million in tax refunds.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to all 23 counts of making false claims against the United States.

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel scheduled a sentencing hearing for Nov. 24.

Rodriguez admitted that between Aug. 17, 2010 and Jan. 31, 2012, he knowingly filed false tax returns with the IRS claiming refunds in the names of other individuals.

The returns included W-2 forms falsely claiming that taxes were withheld by various employers.

The IRS identified more than 600 false returns that were associated with this scheme.

These returns, which were filed electronically, claimed refunds totaling $2,904,783.64.

Rodriguez faces a maximum possible sentence of 115 years in prison, restitution to the IRS up to $2,904,783, up to three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $5.75 million and a $2,300 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States David J. Ignall.

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