EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Elein Rodela Jr., 41, used to be a tax prepared in the El Paso area from 2016 to 2018. According to court documents, he put together a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Rodela filed false tax returns and then received the ill-gotten refunds. In accordance with the documents, legitimate W2 forms were used to file tax returns and later obtain the federal tax return checks in the name of non-citizens working in the U.S.

Part of his scheme included opening multiple P.O. boxes in El Paso and New Mexico and used these addresses to collect the tax refund checks, to later cashed them and laundered the money through a bank account belonging to a children’s sports team.

Rodela pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud; four counts of aggravated identity theft; five counts of money laundering; and one count of theft of government funds.  

Officials say this scheme costed the IRS a loss of approximately $670,217.

Rodela could face up to 20 years in prison on each of the mail fraud, wire fraud, identify theft and money laundry counts. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the theft of government funds count.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence and restitution after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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