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Feds say scammers bilked IRS of $10.8million using program for undocumented immigrants

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KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -

Deportation did not stop a Honduran citizen from allegedly helping head up a $10.8 million scam to rip off an Internal Revenue Service program designed to allow illegal immigrants to collect income tax refunds, an indictment unsealed Thursday showed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dale Jr. revealed at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley on Thursday an indictment charging at least six people, including undocumented immigrant Amado Valdez-Morales, and four businesses he alleges defrauded the IRS in a two-year scheme.

The indictment has been redacted because a Guatemalan citizen listed as a chief organizer in the alleged scheme has not yet been arrested.

Valdez was deported from Texas back to Honduras six months into the alleged scheme but quickly found his way back, according to the indictment. Details of his deportation are not included. He was caught by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 16, 2014, in Oak Ridge — the same day the indictment states the alleged fraud scheme was discovered.

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