Sweet Success

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There is nothing quite as sweet as success. When the battle is tough, avoiding the bitter taste of defeat makes success that much sweeter. On the battlefield of fraud and human error, there can only be one winner and one loser. According to an article in CivSource, local authorities in Greenville County, South Carolina are coming out on top.

Greenville County’s assessor’s office recognized that it was losing money to overpayments in its legal residence tax exemption program. By and large, most people are honest and are willing to pay their fair share. So, often these overpayments occurred when taxpayers made improper claims because they simply didn’t understand the exemption rules. Or, maybe they made a mistake on their paperwork. Unfortunately, sometimes it was simply due to fraud. In any case, the county recognized that it needed to ensure that taxpayers were paying the true amount that they owed, so they turned to private sector experts with a Homestead Exemption Fraud Detection Program for help. (Here’s my full disclosure? the companies that provided the support were LexisNexis and our partner Tax Management Associates.)

Here’s how it worked? the program leveraged public records data and advanced linking technology to analyze the Greenville County legal residence exemption records and look for indicators for fraud and other anomalies. They then investigated the initial findings, verified the information and prioritized the accounts for collection by Greenville County. To date, the county has billed 2,552 accounts with delinquencies from anywhere from one to four years worth nearly $3 million and collected more than $1 million. (Just imagine how many police, fire and education jobs and/or programs can be funded with $3 million.)

I’d say that in this battle we can say? Fraudsters/Anomalous Payments – 0, Greenville County – 1. Here’s hoping the remaining $2 million in funds just rolls in.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Data Analysis Finds New Revenue for State Governments,” published by the CivSource on July 15, 2013.

The Greenville County assessor’s office recently began leveraging public records and advanced linking technology to detect erroneous and potentially fraudulent filings in its legal residence programs. As a result, the county has discovered nearly $3 million in new revenue – and has already collected more than $1 million.

LexisNexis identified applications in Greenville County’s legal residence exemption program were potentially erroneous, using big data analysis to find questionable filings. The Homestead Exemption Fraud Detection program, combines the LexisNexis analytics technology and public records databases with TMA’s investigative capabilities to help counties detect erroneous filings in their legal residence exemption program.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.