BOSTON, March 16, 2017— An arrest warrant has issued for a former tax preparer who failed to appear in court today on charges he filed false returns for himself and others, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
RAFAEL HUERTAS, Jr., (D.O.B. 2/27/85) of Lawrence had been summoned to appear in Suffolk Superior Court today for arraignment on a 17-count indictment charging him with six counts of presenting a false claim upon a public agency, six counts of delivering a fraudulent document, two counts of willfully assisting in preparation of a fraudulent return, and single counts of willful failure to file a tax return, identity fraud, and money laundering. Huertas, however, failed to appear in court and Assistant Clerk Magistrate Edward Curley issued a default warrant for his arrest.
Suffolk County white collar crime prosecutors and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Bureau allege that Huertas filed tax returns containing forged or falsified information for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, resulting in greater refunds than he was entitled to receive, and failed to file a 2014 tax return. Huertas, who worked for a tax preparation service for a period during 2012 and 2013, used the personal information of one prior client of that service to open a bank account and file a fraudulent tax return, obtaining an additional refund without the client’s knowledge or consent. Prosecutors say he also provided false information on tax returns for two other clients, who received larger refunds than they were entitled to as a result.
As a result of the fraudulent returns, Huertas and the clients received more than $13,500 in excessive tax refunds, authorities said. In total, Huertas allegedly attempted to defraud the Commonwealth and its taxpayers of more than $36,000 in refunds that were not issued.
“Tax fraud in Massachusetts isn’t a victimless crime,” Conley said. “It takes money from state-funded domestic violence shelters, drug treatment, services for at-risk youth, and more. This is a serious case and we fully intend to prove it in court when the defendant is apprehended.”
Suffolk prosecutors are working with members of law enforcement to locate and arrest Huertas.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.