Ex-Fresno IRS employee charged with ID theft of co-workers

Federal prosecutors say a former Fresno IRS employee stole the identities of her co-workers and opened credit cards to go on shopping sprees with friends.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Tuesday that 30-year-old Viririana Hernandez and three others stole $1.2 million from 160 people, many of them IRS employees. Prosecutors say they bought home goods, jewelry and clothes.

A grand jury on Friday indicted the four Fresno County residents on 23 counts, charging them with conspiracy, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Prosecutors say the alleged identity theft unfolded from June 2012 to January 2014.

Prosecutors say Hernandez, who had worked at the IRS since 2006, had access to coworkers’ personal information. Prosecutors say other the victims had their identities stolen after they applied to work at a restaurant chain.

Hernandez was arrested Tuesday at her mother’s home in Parlier. Co-defendants Roberto Martinez, 33, and Lilliana Gonzalez, 32, both of Fresno, were also arrested Tuesday at their home. All three defendants were arraigned Tuesday and entered pleas of not guilty. Arraignment for a fourth defendant, Daniel Miranda, 25, has not yet been scheduled.

If convicted, they each face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In January, a former Fresno Internal Revenue Service employee, Monica Nanette Hernandez, pleaded guilty to identity theft, wire fraud and filing false income tax returns in claiming more than $1.7 million in false tax refunds.

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Article source: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/07/22/4035938/ex-fresno-irs-employee-charged.html

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