2 Arizona men sentenced to prison after scamming government out of $500K in false tax refunds
PHOENIX — Two men from Arizona were recently sentenced to prison after scamming the federal government out of $500,000 in false tax refunds, authorities said Thursday.
Freddy Danilo Naranjo, 48, formerly of Avondale, was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to making false claims, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release.
His co-defendant, Jairo Roberto Hidalgo, 51, of Phoenix, pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced in February to 17 months in prison.
The two men for two years worked together to submit false tax returns in the name of Mexican nationals who did not live or work in the United States, authorities said.
Naranjo was a tax preparer and filed the returns based on fake W-2 forms that contained false wage and withholding information, authorities said, while Hidalgo provided Naranjo with the fake W-2 forms and other personally-identifying information.
The two men and other individuals shared the money that was acquired from the scheme, authorities said.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.