A Livermore woman claimed she had 19 children — all born on the same day — in a tax fraud case, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Norma Coronel, 40, a former Los Angeles resident, was arraigned Monday in a U.S District Court on a 35-count indictment filed by prosecutors earlier this year.
She's accused of filing tax returns in the names of third parties including false dependents. The counts against her include the preparation of false tax returns, fraudulently using Social Security numbers obtained on the basis of false information and theft of government property.
According to documents filed with the court, the government determined from Social Security Administration records that Coronel had obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers for at least 19 children.
Coronel claimed, on separate applications, that the children had been born to her at Good Samaritan Hospital on Dec. 11, 2002.
According to the hospital's records, Coronel gave birth to a single child, a son, on that day.
Coronel, who had been living in Los Angeles at the time the fraudulent returns were filed, was arrested in Livermore on July 12 and as of Monday remained in custody.
If convicted of all of the charges against her, Coronel faces a statutory maximum 143 years in federal prison and fines totaling $5.6 million.
The investigation and prosecution of Coronel was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigation, the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General, in conjunction with the Tax Division of the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.