Friday, September 21, 2007
Beth Stone

Today, a former Chelsea man was arraigned on charges that he allegedly filed false state income tax returns and received refunds totaling approximately $60,000. Luis A. Vasquez, age 36, formerly of Chelsea, was charged with Larceny over $250, Filing False Claims against the Commonwealth, and Uttering a Forged Instrument.

According to authorities, in September 2005, the Financial Crimes Task Force was investigating a complaint that forged credit card convenience checks had been deposited into an account in the name of Alexander Cruz Martinzez. Through their investigation, the task force further discovered multiple Massachusetts tax refund checks in different names had been deposited to the account as well. Bank photographs show Vasquez making some of the deposits. It is further alleged that Vasquez obtained a Texas identification card in the name on the account.

The investigation showed that the tax returns that caused the refund checks to be issued were fraudulent, in part because of false W-2 forms attached to the returns. Allegedly, Vasquez or a family member had formerly worked for two of the three employers listed on the W-2 forms, but the others named on the W-2's had never worked for the employers named. The names and Social Security Numbers on the tax returns did not match, and the taxpayer address listed on a number of the returns was allegedly that of Vasquez's girlfriend or relative.

In total, Vasquez allegedly received more than $60,000 in fraudulent refunds. In addition, he allegedly obtained more than $10,000 from forged credit card convenience checks.

In August 2006, indictments were returned against Vasquez and a warrant was issued. He was later arrested in Texas by federal authorities.

Vasquez was arraigned on the charges today in Suffolk Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty. Suffolk Superior Court Clerk-Magistrate Gary Wilson set bail at $100,000 cash. Vasquez is next scheduled to appear in court November 1, 2007.

Assistant Attorney General Margaret C. Parks of AG Coakley's Criminal Bureau is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Financial Crimes Task Force led by the U.S.

Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigations Unit, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, Detective Anthony D'Alba of the Chelsea Police Department, and Financial Investigator Sallyann Nelligan of AG Coakley' Criminal Bureau.