Everyone has some type of hobby they find interesting.  Hobbies range from following sports teams to building model trains to hiking and beyond.  According to a CBS Miami Online article, the world of hobbies has accepted a new contender:  fraud.  One Miami woman found the subject of her hobby to be in handcuffs, literally.

Miami provides countless hobbies year round:  golf and various outdoor activities, boating, a vibrant music scene and a variety of restaurants for the foodies.  Between morning work outs on the beach, lunch on the Miami River, evenings in the club and work thrown in at some point, it’s hard to imagine there is time to commit fraud.  One Miami woman found time, using subjects who were doing time. (At least she isn’t wasting anyone’s time but her own.  She’ll have plenty of spare time when she’s serving it.) What brought prosperity likely will bring pain upon her sentencing in June 2013.

Florida is home to spiking rates of tax refund fraud.  Federal and state officials are working together to stop these scams from multi-million dollar crimes down to smaller offenses.  Their efforts paid off with the discovery of a Miami woman who had possession of 15 Social Security numbers, names and dates of birth belonging to individuals who were in jail in the State of Florida. (Wait, you mean we can’t use their personal identification information?) A prosecutor revealed the fraudster used 17 identities for the 2011 tax year.  The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed that for each of the returns she submitted she received hundreds of dollars. A judge convicted her of one count of access device fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft. (Wait judge, I have so many questions!  How did she get the personal identification information?  How was she submitting these?  What led officials to discover her scam?)

It’s good to have a hobby.  But, I’d like to throw out a piece of advice for those who may be looking for a new hobby – if it will put you in handcuffs, avoid it.

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