The Internal Revenue Service says a 40-year-old Northern California woman is facing charges that she helped prepare false tax returns and obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers for at least 19 non-existent children.
Norma Coronel was indicted on 35 counts earlier this year in Los Angeles. She was arrested July 12 in Livermore and made her initial court appearance in Los Angeles on Monday.
The IRS says Coronel claimed that all the children had been born to her at a Los Angeles hospital on Dec. 11, 2002, then obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers for them and claimed them as dependents. Hospital records show she gave birth to one child, a boy, on that date.
Coronel faces up to 143 years in prison and $5.6 million in fines if convicted of all charges.