the government announced that a New Jersey woman had been sentenced to more than 13 years in jail for an extensive conspiracy to steal more than $500,000 in tax return checks by employing identity fraud.
Awilda Henriquez, a 36-year-old Clementon resident, and her accomplices plotted to steal tax return cheques totaling more than $200,000 from the United States Postal Service in 2013.
It has been revealed that a small neighborhood in Pennsauken, New Jersey was the intended recipient of tax refunds filed using the identities and Social Security numbers of people living in Puerto Rico.
— WCBS 880 (@wcbs880) November 29, 2022
In addition to paying tellers at numerous New Jersey check cashing companies to take part in the fraud, Henriquez and her friends hired and paid “check couriers” to cash the stolen refund checks.
Delivery men for stolen checks would provide false identification at check-cashing establishments that matched the identities on the cheques. As a result of Henriquez’s fraud, the United States Treasury lost $565,091.
She must now make restitution for these funds. On December 9, 2021, a jury found her guilty of thirteen counts of theft of government funds and thirteen counts of aggravated identity theft, as well as one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and steal United States mail.