Ariel Jimenez, a/k/a Melo. was convicted for his role in a tax fraud and ID theft conspiracy that involved stealing the IDs of children and using those to prepare fraudulent tax returns.
The Justice Department said from the beginning of his tax return business about 2007 in Bronx, N.Y., he obtained the IDs of minors. He and his co-conspirators sold those to customers for $1,000 to $1,500 each so customers could claim the minors as dependents.
He made $1,000 in cash for every ID sold and in some years sold more than one thousand IDs. He additionally made hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for preparing tax returns for these customers.
Jimenez used profits to acquire millions of dollars of real estate and to fund a lavish lifestyle. He admitted spending $5.5 million in business proceeds for properties in the United States and abroad, jewelry, cars and gamblingAround March 2016. He transferred several of these properties for little or no value to conceal the source of the funds he used.
Jimenez was arrested in November 2018, along his sisters, Evelin Jimenez and Ana Yessenia Jimenez and other co-conspirators Ireline Nunez, Leyvi Castillo, Cinthia Federo, Guillermo Arias Moncion, Marcos De Jesus Pantaleon, and Jose Castillo. The other eight defendants pleaded built to fraud and other charges.