Fleeing from Fraud

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When someone is in danger, a fight-or-flight response usually occurs. Either the person stays put and confronts the situation or they decide to flee from the mentally or physically threatening situation. The Department of Justice released a statement about an Alabama Man, who was pulled over for a traffic stop, but tossed a handgun while fleeing on foot from the scene. (That’s a pretty dramatic response to being pulled over, unless you have something to hide.) It turns out that some interesting evidence was found in his vehicle, and it was determined that he was a convicted felon. (That explains why he tossed the gun while getting the heck out of Dodge.)

The article states that his vehicle contained numerous prepaid debit cards and stolen personal identification information. After searching the man’s residence, more documents with personal information not belonging to him, 200 prepaid debit cards, a computer used to file tax returns and a magazine for his discarded weapon were discovered.

In his plea agreement, the man admitted to being involved in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) crimes, which use stolen identities to submit fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming refunds in the victims’ names. Over a two-year period, the fraudster received more than $80,000 in bogus tax refunds in his bank account. Later, he shifted to using prepaid debit cards to receive the refunds. (This would make it harder to track him down.) All in all, he attempted to bilk the IRS of $400,000 through more than 250 victims.

This criminal faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for access device fraud, another 10 years maximum sentence for felony possession of a firearm and another mandatory two-year sentence for aggravated identity theft.

It’s highly unlikely that this guy will be able to run away from the law again, at least not for the near future. It is high time that he takes responsibility for his actions and pay for his crimes.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a press release titled, ”Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Stolen Identity Refund Fraud and Firearms Offenses,” distributed by The Department of Justice on April 1, 2014.

Deundra Milhouse, an Alabama resident, pleaded guilty today to several charges involving stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) and firearms offenses, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama. Milhouse pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was indicted in December 2013 and has been detained since his arrest in late January 2014.

According to the plea agreement, Milhouse was involved in SIRF crimes—the use of stolen identities to steal money from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing fraudulent tax returns claiming refunds in the victims’ names—from spring 2011 through late 2013. In 2011 and 2012, he received over $80,000 in fraudulently obtained tax refunds in a bank account he controlled. By 2013, he switched to using prepaid debit cards to receive the 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.