A New Jersey woman was convicted of participating in a massive ID theft scheme that had $565,091 in tax refunds from the IRS sent to a small section of the same town.
Awilda Henriquez, 35, took her chances with a trial after three of her accomplices took guilty pleas.
She was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Camden on Thursday of 27 counts involving defrauding the federal government, mail theft, stealing government money and aggravated ID theft, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
Ring members filed more than 3,300 tax returns in 2013 using the names and Social Security numbers of residents of Puerto Rico, Honig said.
They directed those refund checks that were issued to a small section of the Camden County town of Pennsauken, the U.S. attorney said.
The conspirators bribed mail carriers from the U.S. Postal Service to steal tax refund checks from the mail as part of the scheme, an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Camden against Henriquez and several co-conspirators alleged.
Henriguez and her partners than recruited “check couriers” to cash the refund checks, the indictment said.
Some using fraudulent identifications – among them, fake New Jersey driver’s licenses, bogus Social Security cards and phony Department of Homeland Security Permanent Resident Identification cards – at check-cashing businesses in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York, Honig said.
Henriquez, of Clementon, paid tellers at those…