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Local crime briefs — 10-12-12

Man sentenced in federal tax fraud
A Lincolnton man is set to spend at least the next three years behind bars for income tax fraud from 2010 to 2011, the United States District Attorney’s Office in the state’s western district said in a recent department press release.
A federal judge sentenced Arileyda Amparo, 32, on Tuesday to 37 months in prison, without parole, in connection with a tax fraud scheme involving six other defendants.
The seven individuals were arrested in February 2011 and indicted in March 2011 on “one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to false claims, by filing fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds,” the release said.
The defendants secured names and social security numbers from from Puerto Rican victims in order to file false tax returns and claim more than $5 million. The defendants also had the checks mailed to carefully selected mailboxes in the western part of North Carolina.
Amparo pleaded guilty to the charge in January while five of the other six defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy in July and August 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation division along with the United States Postal Service and the U.S. Secret Service worked the case, which is being prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Jenny Grus Sugar, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

Suspect sought in  fake check scam
Deputies are on the hunt for a man they said used fake checks to buy a gift card at an eastern Lincoln County business in April.
Store surveillance at the Lowe’s Home Improvement in Denver recorded the culprit trying to purchase a $300 gift card with a check from the State Employees Credit Union and routing number from Home Savings Bank in Albemarle, N.C., the Sheriff’s Office said.
The man is accused of stealing someone’s information in order to print the personal checks.
Deputies said he also used the gift card at Lowe’s franchises in various other counties.
Anyone who can identify the suspect is asked to call (704) 736-8891 or Crime Stoppers at (704) 736-8909.
Tips may remain anonymous, and any tips leading to an arrest may result in a reward of up to $1,000.
— compiled by Jenna-Ley Harrison

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