CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two Charlotteans plead guilty in federal court on Monday to illegally filing tax returns by obtaining others' individual taxpayer identification numbers.
Candida Figueroa, 41, and 30-year-old Cathy Cisneros both entered guilty pleas to the charge of false claims conspiracy.
According to the indictment, Figueroa and Cisneros obtained the taxpayer identification numbers of Mexican nationals, fraudulently filed tax returns and collected checks from the IRS.
More than 800 fraudulent returns were filed, totaling $3.8 million in false claims, and $1.6 million in fraudulent payouts made by the Treasury Department, official documents say.
The indictment says Figueroa and Cisneros cashed the Treasury checks, deposited the cash into bank accounts, or held the cash in safety deposit boxes, before wiring the funds to Mexico.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says law enforcement has recovered $136,334 so far.
The women were arrested in late September.
If convicted. the defendants face a maximum prison term of 10 years, and a $250,000 fine each.