Stamford woman sentenced in tax scheme

A 45-year-old Stamford woman was recently sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for her involvement in a tax fraud and identity theft scheme that Greenwich police helped crack.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Damaris Peralta, along with Hector Medina and others, was involved in a conspiracy in which the group obtained at least 35 U.S. Treasury income tax refund checks by filing fraudulent tax returns, with false W-2 forms attached on behalf of citizens of Puerto Rico without their knowledge or consent.

As part of the scheme, Matilde Fabian-Pichardo used her position as a bank teller in Stamford to cash the fraudulent checks presented to her by Mr. Medina and others by using the legitimate accounts of bank customers. Mr. Medina kept the majority of the proceeds of the scheme and paid Ms. Peralta and others for their assistance.

This scheme resulted in a loss of approximately $185,000 to the IRS. In addition, members of the conspiracy cashed fraudulently obtained state tax refund checks from New York and North Carolina, resulting in an additional loss of approximately $13,000. Ms. Peralta was ordered to pay, jointly and severally with her co-defendants, restitution in the amount of $198,425.57.

Ms. Peralta has been detained since May 23, 2012. On Oct. 24, 2012, she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Medina and Ms. Fabian-Pichardo have also pleaded guilty. On Oct. 2, 2012, Mr. Medina was sentenced to 27 months of imprisonment. Ms. Fabian-Pichardo awaits sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by the IRS — Criminal Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Greenwich Police Department, Stamford Police Department and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force.

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