Mexican national, tax fraud fugitive arrested after six years
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Oaxaca, Mexico man was arrested Wednesday morning after being sought for the past six years, following his indictment in a conspiracy to file fraudulent federal income tax returns.
Attorney Mark H. Wildasin said Claudio Juarez, 40, was arrested at his residence in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Wednesday morning and transported to the Middle District of Tennessee, where he appeared before a United States Magistrate Judge.
Officials said Juarez and others were charged in 2016 with conspiracy to file false claims against the United States, wire fraud, and theft of more than $1,000 of public money.
In April 2015, investigators issued ten federal search warrants executed at various residences and tax return preparation businesses throughout Middle Tennessee. Some of the locations included Soto Services, with locations in Madison, Hermitage, Springfield, and Gallatin, as well as South Income Tax Services in Nashville.
Investigators determined that part of the tax fraud scheme dated back to 2011, and 46 people were ultimately charged and convicted of federal offenses, according to Wildasin.
During the investigation, more than $1 million in cash was seized and several late model luxury automobiles and 11 Nashville properties. Many of the individuals charged, including Juarez, were in the United States illegally.
Authorities determined that Juarez’s role in the scheme was crucial to its success as he allegedly cashed fraudulent checks and dealt in fake documents such as W-2s ′s and other fraudulent identification documents.
In 2016, agents attempted to arrest Juarez and others; however, he evaded arrest, and efforts to locate him in the interim were fruitless until early June when agents learned that Juarez had filed at least two suspected fraudulent tax returns with the IRS. Authorities said the investigation soon led agents to a Bowling Green tax preparer and Juarez.
Wildsain said Juarez faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
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