11 indicted in tax fraud case

ANCHORAGE — Eleven people have been indicted in an identity theft conspiracy, accused of stealing more than 2,600 identifications of Puerto Rico residents and trying to obtain about $19 million in false U.S. tax return claims, federal officials said Thursday.

The indictment also accused the 11 of tax fraud and cocaine distribution, KTUU reported.

Federal authorities allege the 11 stole some identities by stealing mail from Anchorage mailboxes. Another 2,600 identities of Puerto Rico residents, including names and Social Security numbers, were obtained from three stolen laptops.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the IDs were then used to claim millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds.

“Today’s indictment is a clear warning that anyone who steals the identities of innocent taxpayers and uses that information for personal profit will be aggressively pursued, investigated and prosecuted in Alaska or throughout the United States,” Karen Loeffler, the U.S. Attorney for Alaska, said in a statement.

Conspirators in New Jersey and Puerto Rico sent refund checks to Anchorage, where they were cashed. One bank employee has been charged with helping defendants open accounts under fake names and cashing a forged U.S. Treasury check.

Federal officials also claim the defendants allegedly used the false names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers to get Alaska driver’s licenses.

All defendants are residents of either the Dominican Republic or Mexico.

Named in the indictment were Joel Jose Santana-Pierna, Abel Santana-Pierna, Misael Polanco-Villa, Nicolas Jimenez-Sanchez, Isaac Amparo-Vasquez, Randin Paredes Henriquez, Wedys Ramirez-Javier, Samuel Peguero, Fatima Aguilar-Martinez and Hilda Josephine Hernandez McMullen. Also named was John Doe, described as an unidentified person with several aliases, including Japhet Soto Santiago, Luis Angel Cortes Decodet, Steeven Joan Vidal-Alomara and Kiki.


State to close Eagle River Job Center

The state of Alaska is closing the Eagle River Job Center due to state budget cuts.

Read more

UAF says ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to Kenai salmon research offer

KENAI — The University of Alaska Fairbanks turned down an offer for funding for research on Kenai River king salmon because it would only come... Read more

How Medicaid expansion affects Alaskans

In the midst of a nationwide opioid abuse spike, states that chose to expand Medicaid said the program has offered critical assistance. Preventative behavioral care... Read more

Moderate earthquake shakes ocean floor in western Aleutians

ANCHORAGE — A moderate earthquake rumbled under the ocean floor in the western Aleutian Islands.

Read more

Around the Web



  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback