A Cuban man potentially faces up to 22 years in prison and a $750,000 fine, after he pleaded guilty to two criminal counts in an identity theft case involving current and former workers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), federal authorities announced Monday.
Yoandy Perez Llanes, 33, and his cohorts stole Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other personal information from tens of thousands of current and former employees at UPMC in 2014.
Llanes and his co-conspirators hacked into UPMC's computer databases, then turned around and used the data to file more than 900 false 2013 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. And rather than receive a cash refund, Llanes requested any returns be provided as Amazon gift cards, which then were used to buy electronics. The purchased electronics were shipped to Venezuela, where Llanes and his associates snapped them up.
During the nearly two years that Llanes engaged in aggravated identity theft and money laundering, he and his cohorts received $1.48 million from the bogus tax returns. Llanes will be sentenced on Aug. 18.
Read the Department of Justice release here.