From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado:
DENVER – Libia Hernandez-Garcia, age 60, of Miami, Florida, formerly of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced late last week by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 12 months in federal prison for tax fraud, visa fraud and Social Security fraud, federal authorities announced. Following her prison sentence, she was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release and ordered by Judge Arguello to pay over $70,000 in restitution. She was ordered to report to a Bureau of Prisons facility within 15 days of designation. She was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 21, 2013, followed by a superseding indictment on February 25, 2014. She pled guilty before Chief Judge Arguello on May 22, 2014.
According to the charging documents as well as the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, from 2009 through 2011, Hernandez-Garcia made false claims against the Internal Revenue Service which she knew to be false by preparing and filing federal income tax returns for several individuals where the claims for income tax refunds were fraudulent. Particularly, Hernandez-Garcia provided false information to a tax preparer, so refunds not belonging to her would be deposited into her own bank account.
From 2009 through 2012, Hernandez-Garcia misused the Social Security Number (SSN) of several individuals by causing the filing of individual income tax returns which falsely included the name and SSN, as a dependent, for the person identified as the filer of the tax return.
From 2008 through 2011, Hernandez-Garcia assisted in the preparation and filing with the IRS the U.S. Individual Income Tax Return of her husband for tax years 2007 through 2010 which were materially false and fraudulent. Particularly, dependents were claimed on her husband’s tax returns when in fact the dependents were not a person who could lawfully be claimed as a dependent of his. On her own personal tax returns for tax years 2006 through 2011, Hernandez-Garcia followed a similar pattern claiming dependents that could not be claimed as her dependents all in an effort to receive higher refunds.
Furthermore, on two separate occasions, one in 2008 and the second in 2011, Hernandez-Garcia made false statements under penalty of perjury in Petitions for a Nonimmigrant Worker packages. Such statements included: the beneficiary of the H-1B visa petition, Diana Aleph Aguilar Hernandez, would be employed by a local hotel operating under a national brand name as Operations Manager; Libia Hernandez was an authorized official to make such a petition on behalf of that hotel; that Libia Hernandez was authorized by that hotel to act on behalf of the company in labor certification matters.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), and Office of the Inspector General – Social Security Administration (SSA OIG).