Former Fresno IRS employees sentenced to prison for tax fraud
Della Ornelas and Randall Ruff, both of Fresno, were sentenced Monday by United States District Judge Dale A. Drozd to six months in prison for aiding others in the preparation of false tax returns, and making their own fraudulent tax returns as an employee of the United States, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. They both were also ordered to serve six months in home confinement and to pay full restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
According to court documents, Della Ornelas, 49, and Randall Ruff, 53, both of Fresno, are a married couple and were longtime employees of the Internal Revenue Service in Fresno. Between 2005 and 2013, they filed false tax returns for family and friends that added dependents, generating large tax refunds that were diverted into bank accounts they controlled sometimes without the knowledge of the taxpayer. They also filed false tax returns for themselves, fraudulently adding dependents that they were not entitled to claim. Over a seven-year period, Ornelas defrauded the United States of approximately $76,897, and Ruff defrauded the United States of approximately $53,227.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Internal Revenue Service-criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Mckeon is prosecuting the case.