Schwenksville, Allentown Cases Part of IRS’ 2021 Activity

PHILADELPHIA PA – Cases involving individuals from Schwenksville and Allentown are among more than 2,500 investigations conducted by the Internal Revenue Service during its 2020-2021 fiscal year, its Criminal Investigations division Philadelphia field office reported. The cases accounted for roughly $10 billion in tax fraud and financial crimes, according to its recently released annual report.

“Those who make it their job to … create elaborate schemes to steal from the government and the American people should understand that IRS Criminal Investigation will use all lawful means to identify and hold them accountable,” acting Philadelphia IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Yury I. Kruty said. The fiscal year began Oct. 1 (2020) and ended Sept. 30 (2021).

One case involved a 29-year-old Schwenksville resident, Blake Rezabek, who in December 2020 pleaded guilty to a list of charges related to what the IRS described as a multi-state fraud scheme. It alleged Rezabek sold older model cars and trucks on Internet advertising sites, and collected the revenue but failed to deliver vehicles.

Rezabek was sentenced just last week (Dec. 23) to 8 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release, and must forfeit more than $899,000 in assets as restitution, according to federal court documents.

In the Allentown case, Marien Torres-Acevedo was sentenced to 75 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the government, and for committing aggravated identity theft. Torres-Acevedo was additionally ordered to pay more than $857,700 in restitution.

The IRS alleged Torres-Acevedo and her conspirators obtained fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks by stealing victims’ identities, and used “those stolen identities to file false tax returns that generated significant refunds.”

Although division agents spent about 72 percent of their investigative man-hours on tax-related crimes like tax evasion and tax fraud, it reported they “also made significant contributions to money laundering, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, terrorism, and COVID-19 fraud investigations.”

On a broader scale, the IRS division during the fiscal year “built upon its existing network of U.S. field offices and international attachés to combat financial crimes across the globe,” it said. It strengthened public-private partnerships with financial institutions and the financial technology industry to deter and identify criminal activity, it added.

Additionally, the division established its first cyber attaché in The Hague, Netherlands, to proactively support cyber investigative needs in coordination with the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.

Photo by Bermix Studio via Unsplash, used under license

This story is one of several The Posts are publishing between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day that take a retrospective look at events and milestones of 2021, and a prospective look at what’s ahead in 2022.

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