Death is often used in popular metaphors such as, “stopped dead in his tracks,” or “scared to death.” With such a negative connotation, implanting “death” into a scenario can leave any situation a little less lively, pun intended. But what happens when you mix fraud and death? A KSAT.com article highlights the consequences of messing with the deceased.
Texas – home to football, great food and identity fraud. (Fraud? I’m guessing that’s not in any marketing materials.) When people say, “everything is bigger in Texas,” they are not kidding – especially when it comes to fraud. One Texas resident was found to have used the identities of deceased individuals to file fictitious tax refunds. While the official number is being calculated, it is believed that the man used the identities to file around 500 false W-2 forms, claiming approximately $883,000 in refunds that he had put on debit cards. Court documents reveal that the fraudster kept some of the debit cards and gave away others. (Maybe he’s just in the business of helping others.)
The fraudster pleaded guilty to the three-year scheme, including one count of filing false claims against the federal government and one count of aggravated identity theft. (Just think of how much it aggravated families of the deceased victims.) Although the man has yet to be sentenced, he faces up to seven years in prison – five for filing false claims against the government and two for aggravated identity theft. (And, he should get the max! He took the identities of people who couldn’t even defend themselves!)
I’d say this man was more than, “stopped dead in his tracks.” There’s just no positive to come out of mixing death and fraud. Let’s hope that since everything is bigger in Texas, his sentence will be big, too.