Mexican National & Tax Fraud Fugitive Arrested After Six Years

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NASHVILLE – A Oaxaca, Mexico, man was arrested this morning, after being sought for the past six years, following his indictment in a conspiracy to file fraudulent federal income tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Claudio Juarez, 40, was arrested at his residence in Bowling Green, Kentucky, this morning and transported to the Middle District of Tennessee.  He will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon. 

Juarez and others were charged in 2016 with conspiracy to file false claims against the United States, wire fraud, and theft of more than $1,000 of public money.

The investigation began in April 2015, when 10 federal search warrants were executed at various residences and tax return preparation businesses throughout middle Tennessee, including Soto Services with locations in Madison, Hermitage, Springfield, and Gallatin; and S Income Tax Services in Nashville. As a result of this investigation, agents subsequently determined that part of the tax fraud scheme dated back to 2011 and 46 persons were ultimately charged and convicted of federal offenses. 

During the investigation, more than $1 million in cash was seized, as well as several late model, luxury automobiles and 11 Nashville-area properties.  Many of the individuals charged, including Juarez, were in the United States illegally.

Juarez’s role in the scheme was crucial to its success as he cashed fraudulent checks and dealt in fake documents such as W-2’s and other fraudulent identification documents.  In 2016, when agents attempted to arrest Juarez and others, he evaded arrest, and efforts to locate him in the interim were fruitless until earlier this month, when agents learned that Juarez had filed at least two suspected fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.  Further investigation led the agents to a Bowling Green tax preparer and then to Juarez. 

If convicted, Juarez faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations, with arrest assistance by the Bowling Green Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Jaworski is prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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