The owners of a Silver Spring tax preparation company were indicted Monday by a federal grand jury on charges of tax fraud.
Federal prosecutors said the brothers — Ewdy Jose Olivo, 28, of Rockville, and Juan Manuel Olivo, 30, of Hyattsville — used stolen identity information to obtain false tax refunds.
“IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority,” said Sheila Olander, acting special agent in charge for the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., field office. “We are aggressively pursuing identity thieves and working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in bringing to justice those who harm and steal from the American taxpayer.”
According to the 18-count indictment, the brothers stole personal information like Social Security numbers and birth dates. Many of the people they targeted were Puerto Rican, who by law are not required to file federal income-tax returns as long as they earn their income from Puerto Rican sources, a statement announcing the indictment said.
The brothers allegedly prepared false income-tax returns in the victims’ names and filed them electronically with the IRS from Maryland, the statement said. Then, according to the statement, they requested that the IRS mail tax-refund checks to addresses they controlled and deposited the checks in their bank accounts.
On April 10, the federal government seized $88,960 from the brothers’ tax office and Juan Olivo’s home. The indictment seeks the forfeiture of those assets, as well as a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and for 11 counts for wire fraud, as well as a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed on each of six counts of aggravated identity theft.
Their initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.