Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug.  Today’s fraud report is about a man who tried have it all and get rich by committing tax refund fraud and now has plenty of time to think about his actions.  According to the TimesDaily.com, the man was sentenced to 70 months (that’s nearly six years) behind bars for a variety of charges stemming from his tax refund fraud scheme, including conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.  Oh…and if that wasn’t enough, he also faces additional prison time in connection with a bank robbery case. (Robbing a bank too? He could have just sent in a few additional fraudulent tax forms to make the big bucks.)

His tax return fraud scam was simple:  he used Social Security Numbers and birth dates of prison inmates to file fraudulent tax returns.  (Crooks defrauding other crooks.  What is this world coming to?)  The scheme was discovered as part of an investigation into a bank robbery case.  Investigators from the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked for over a year to identify the phony tax returns.  (Wouldn’t it be great if there was a solution to help find fraud in the tax refund process?  Wait…there is!)

Like many good fraudsters, the man had a partner in crime – a woman who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.  She helped to obtain post office boxes, where refunds for the false tax returns she filed were mailed.  She received jail time – one year and one day – and was ordered to pay $148,685 in restitution.  (You’d be surprised how often fraud happens at those P.O. boxes.)

Well, the crook who stole from crooks will be joining them soon.  In addition to receiving 70 months in prison for the tax refund fraud scam, he also faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the bank robbery charge.  He also could face an additional seven years for using a weapon during the robbery.  (Dah!  For tax refund fraud, you just need a pen or a laptop as the weapon of choice.) 

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