Carpentersville man pleads guilty in federal tax fraud scheme

Updated 12/2/2019 9:40 PM

A Carpentersville man who authorities say participated in a scheme to bilk the federal government out of more than $200,000 in fraudulent tax refunds pleaded guilty Monday to mail fraud.

Roberto Fisher, 50, admitted that between March 2010 and May 2012 he, Patty Cordoba and employees of her company, Patty's Tax Service, prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns on behalf of people living in Mexico. Patty's Tax Service is a tax preparation firm in McHenry and Capron, Illinois.


As part of the scheme, Fisher provided false information in order to obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers to file the returns, authorities said. He admitted he told the people in Mexico he was going to use their information for tax purposes and would give them money in return.

Authorities say Fisher and the other employees prepared a total of 57 fraudulent Form 1040s in those names and submitted them to the Internal Revenue Service. Based on those forms, the IRS issued refund checks to the addresses on the false returns, authorities said.

They say Cordoba opened bank accounts in the name of 10 individuals into which Fisher deposited the 57 refund checks. He also deposited some of the funds into his own bank account, authorities said. As a result, the "IRS issued approximately $207,467 in refunds to which Fisher was not entitled," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr.

Fisher faces a maximum 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in March 2020.

Cordoba, formerly of Crystal Lake, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 2016 and was sentenced to 4 years and 5 months in prison. She also was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution.

Co-defendants who also pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 2016 include: Alicia Arevala of Poplar Grove, sentenced to 21 months in prison; Cesar Besiche of McHenry, sentenced to time served and released to the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation; Luisa Carbaja of Marengo, sentenced 16 months in prison; Mario Cordoba of Crystal Lake, sentenced to 33 months in prison; Olga Lidia Diaz-Hernandez of McHenry, sentenced to 21 months in prison; Veronica Sanchez-Barradas of McHenry, sentenced to 27 months in prison; and Victor Hernandez of McHenry, sentenced to 27 months in prison.

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