NEWARK, New Jersey — A central New Jersey man has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in what authorities say is one of the largest tax-refund fraud schemes ever uncovered.
Manual Rodriguez had pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to defraud, theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.
The U.S. attorney's office says the 50-year-old New Brunswick resident was a part of an operation that filed more than 8,000 fraudulent tax returns that caused a loss to the government of more than $12 million.
They say the conspirators illegally obtained names and Social Security numbers of Puerto Rican citizens to file the returns. Authorities intercepted some $22 million in fraudulent refunds before they were delivered.
Under terms of his sentencing Friday, Rodriguez must also pay $5.2 million in restitution.