MASSENA - United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today that an Indictment was filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York charging Lacey Jane Hollinger, 27, of Massena, New York and Elaine Monique Zavala-Charres, 33, of Phoenix, Arizona with seven (7) counts of operating a mail fraud scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and two (2) counts aggravated identity theft. The mail fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of up to twenty (20) years imprisonment, a period of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.00. The aggravated identity theft charges carry a sentence of two years imprisonment.
The indictment alleges that Hollinger and Zavala-Charres operated the scheme to defraud the IRS from January 2012 to May 2013 in St. Lawrence County, New York and elsewhere. The scheme involved using personal identification information acquired through fraud used to file tax returns with false income levels to generate fraudulent refunds. The scheme involved the submission of over $500,000.00 in fraudulent tax returns to IRS in tax years 2011 and 2012, primarily in New York and Arizona.
The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations, Syracuse, New York Office.
The charges in the indictment are mere allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent.