Nipomo woman arrested for tax and loan fraud
May 17, 2011
A Nipomo woman was arrested Monday on charges she orchestrated a tax scheme involving stolen identities, as well as a loan fraud scheme in which she allegedly submitted false income tax returns that overstated her income in an effort to obtain a $1.6 million loan.
Imelda Sanchez, 39, was arrested at her place of business Monday morning by special agents with Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On Monday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Sanchez pleaded not guilty to charges contained in an 18-count indictment returned last week by a federal grand jury.
The indictment charges Sanchez with eight counts of making false claims to the IRS, three counts of aggravated identity theft, five counts of making false statements on loan applications and two counts of making false statements to the FBI.
In the indictment filed last Wednesday, Sanchez is accused of preparing false and fraudulent tax returns in the names of several taxpayers in order to fraudulently obtain tax refunds from the IRS. The indictment alleges that Sanchez stole the identities of several people, using their names and social security numbers without their authorization.
Sanchez is further charged with making false statements to Santa Lucia Bank by submitting false personal and corporate income tax returns in applications for a $1.6 million loan.
Sanchez is also charged with having lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on two separate occasions in 2007 when asked about her role in creating false tax documents and employment verifications in collaboration with various loan officers.
If convicted of all 18 counts in the indictment, Sanchez would face a statutory maximum sentence of 206 years in federal prison, as well as up to $7.5 million in fines.
During yesterday’s arraignment, a U.S. Magistrate Judge set bond at $65,000 and Sanchez was released. After Sanchez pleaded not guilty to the charges, her case was assigned to United States District Philip S. Gutierrez, who scheduled a trial for July 12.
This case against Sanchez is the result of a joint investigation by IRS – Criminal Investigation and the FBI.