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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Canadian Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud the United States and Stealing Government Funds



A Canadian man pleaded guilty today in Rochester, New York to conspiring to defraud the United States and stealing government funds, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. for the Western District of New York.

According to documents filed with the court, Jose Compuesto, 52, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, along with other Canadian citizens, participated in a scheme to file fraudulent claims for refund with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In January 2010, Compuesto filed a fraudulent nonresident alien income tax return seeking a refund of $383,155.46. On this return, Compuesto falsely claimed that the requested refund represented the amount of income taxes that had been withheld and paid to the IRS on his behalf. After the IRS issued the refund to Compuesto, he entered the United States and opened a bank account in Kenmore, New York to deposit the fraudulently obtained check. In April 2010, Compuesto caused the funds to be transferred from this account to bank accounts in the United States and Canada in the name of one of his co-conspirators.

U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of the Western District of New York scheduled sentencing for Oct. 17. Compuesto faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. As part of his plea agreement, Compuesto agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $383,155.46 plus interest.

Compuesto is the fourth Canadian citizen to be convicted for his role in this scheme. In January 2016, Kevin Cyster of Burlington, Ontario, was sentenced to 135 months in prison after a jury convicted him of conspiring to defraud the United States and steal government funds, making a false claim against the United States and transferring stolen money in foreign commerce. In June 2014, Renee Jarvis, also of Ontario, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and steal government funds. Last month, Timothy Johnston of Calgary, Alberta also pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and steal government funds. Jarvis and Johnston are both awaiting sentencing.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Melissa S. Siskind and Thomas F. Koelbl of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Field of the Western District of New York, who are prosecuting this case.

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