Cabin Fever

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Alaska has an estimated 67 days of total darkness in the northern most portion of the state commonly referred to as America’s last frontier. The conditions can be harsh in the winter with subzero temperatures and an average of six feet of snow each year, keeping many residents inside during the cold months. According to an article posted on KTUU.com, a couple of prisoners kept from succumbing to cabin fever by running a tax fraud scheme from behind bars.

The story states that an Alaska man, who was already serving time in prison was sentenced to an additional seven years and eight months for his involvement in a jailhouse tax fraud scheme involving stolen identities. He and three fellow prisoners obtained the names and Social Security numbers of 210 people, many of them belonging to other inmates. (Perhaps he worked out a deal where they supplied their personal information in exchange for a kickback. If caught, they could claim they were victims.) All together, the foursome filed 428 false tax returns and netted refunds totaling more than $681,000.

In addition to the extra time in prison, the 41-year-old fraudster was ordered to pay $384,892 in restitution. The other three co-conspirators have pleaded guilty with two being sentenced to additional time behind bars and one awaiting his fate.

While these criminals are stuck behind bars for the near future, at least they haven’t been banished to the frozen tundra. Perhaps while serving out their extended sentences, these co-conspirators will finally realize the seriousness of their actions. This tax fraud conviction means their illegally gained cold hard cash has led to more time behind cold steel bars and a hard bunk. (I’m guessing cabin fever is not far behind.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Alaska prisoners filed 428 false tax returns in identity theft scheme,” posted on KTUU.com on September 8, 2016.

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) An Alaska man was sentenced Wednesday to 92 months in prison for his role in a jailhouse tax fraud scheme, prosecutors say.

Jesse Scott Wilson, 41, was part of a group of prisoners who were conspiring to illegally obtain tax refunds.

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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.