An Atlantic City man admitted Tuesday to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns, illegal use of Social Security numbers and unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced in a statement.
Nicolas Gomez-Rua, 54, who is also from Medellin, Colombia, appeared in U.S. District Court in Camden and pleaded guilty to three out of 45 counts in a pending indictment against him.
Gomez-Rua operated Quick Tax Solution and Rapid Tax Solution in Ventnor from 2008 to 2010. According to the statement, he met with clients and obtained false information and documents to obtain larger refunds for them, intentionally including false dependents, child tax credits, fuel tax credits and other credits.
He also admitted that he had a file of Social Security cards and birth certificates for people born in Puerto Rico that he used to add fake dependents. Clients paid him $300 to $500 to do this.
His office handled 729 tax returns containing fraudulent items between 2007 and 2009, and the U.S. lost approximately $170,211 in tax revenue due to those false returns.
Gomez-Rua was born in Colombia and illegally entered the U.S. in 1993, the statement said. His wife, Clara Estrada Hernandez, also illegally entered the country, the statement said.
After settling in Atlantic City, both allegedly purchased fake identities of Puerto Rican citizens in order to live and work at various places in the city. Hernandez once worked at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, and Gomez-Rua once worked at Caesars Atlantic City, the indictment states.
Through a series of other fraudulent acts, both were later naturalized.
Gomez-Rua was arrested Nov. 29 by Homeland Security Investigations special agents. The charges to which he pleaded guilty carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison for aiding and assisting the preparation of a false income tax return, five years for illegal use of a Social Security number and 10 years for unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization, plus a fine of $250,000 per count.
Sentencing for Gomez-Rua is scheduled for July 17. Clara Estrada Hernandez faces charges including aggravated identity theft.
Contact Lee Procida:
Follow Lee Procida on Twitter @ACPressLee