A Schenectady woman faces a federal indictment for an alleged check-writing and tax return scheme that scammed the Internal Revenue Service out of more than $87,000. She’s accused of sending the agency more than $3.6 million in bogus checks.
Patricia Alfieri, 52, allegedly would send the IRS bogus checks, and then receive “overpayment” checks from the IRS before it realized the original checks were bad, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Albany.
The alleged scheme took place from April 2008 to March 2013, authorities said.
The bogus checks totaled more than $3.6 million, according to the indictment. Off those checks, she was able to get $87,000 in returned checks from the IRS, according to the indictment.
Such accusations have come before in unrelated cases. In one such case, which saw a defendant from Louisiana sentenced just last week to more than two years in prison, a woman admitted to sending in $12 million worth of bogus payments over nearly 400 separate transactions, then netting $77,000 in “overpayment” money before the IRS caught on and froze her account.
In Alfieri’s case, she allegedly received four checks from the IRS totaling $12,327 and received wire transfers of $5,203 and $69,622. The wire transfers were sent to an H&R Block Bank account, according to the indictment.
Alfieri faces a total of five counts of mail fraud, one count of obstructing internal revenue laws and three counts of making a false tax return.
On her 2009 return, Alfieri is accused of putting down false numbers for income tax withheld, real estate taxes paid and home mortgage interest paid. She reported paying on all three about $30,000. In actuality, the total was $219, authorites say. She is accused of intentionally making similar errors on the other two returns.
Alfieri was arraigned on the new indictment Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. She is represented by attorney Paul Evangelista. Evangelista did not return calls for comment.
Alfieri is free on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Among the conditions of her release, she must provide her probation officer with access to any required financial information and she may not incur new credit charges or open additional lines of credit without the approval of her probation officer, according to papers filed in federal court.
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