South Carolina family sentenced for stealing stimulus checks

Tax Rebate: Americans to receive up to $150 in direct checks next week: See If you are eligible
Tax Rebate: Americans to receive up to $150 in direct checks next week: See If you are eligible

According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, two family members in Myrtle Beach, S.C., were recently sentenced for stealing stimulus checks and robbing the government of $500,000 via failing faulty tax returns.

The press release also confirmed a third family member was put on probation.

Donna Karakatsani was sentenced to two years in prison, while her son Ivo Krasimirov Ivanov got 1.5 years in prison. His step-father Todor Milkov Stoenchev received five years of probation, according to WBTW-TV.

Their sentences come after the IRS started investigating them in 2020. Karakatsani and Ivanov used foreign people’s names — mostly from Bulgaria — to file tax returns. Together they created 68 bank accounts via 16 banks using 14 different names, WBTW-TV reported.

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“During a time when many families were struggling to make mortgage payments,” the Myrtle Beach family used these stolen funds to buy houses.

“Our nation went through one of the most challenging virus outbreaks in recent memory and one of our Government’s responses was establishing the CARES Act to lessen the economic impact on its citizens,” said Michael Speckhardt, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of the Inspector General, WBTW-TV reported. “Unfortunately, the Defendants saw this as an opportunity to enrich themselves through a fraud scheme for which they were caught.”

Read more via WBTW-TV.


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