In the Grand Scheme of Things

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A sentence of 32 years is a long time to spend behind bars. You would think that amount of punishment would motivate a criminal to be on good behavior with the hopes of an early release. Not so for today ‘s fraudster, who was caught running an identity theft and tax fraud scheme while serving time in a West Virginia federal penitentiary.

The inmate was originally sentenced to 32 years in federal prison for carrying a firearm in two separate robberies in South Carolina, including an inn and a food store one month later. While in the federal pen for those offenses, he got his hands on the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, employee identification numbers, employer names and tax forms of numerous individuals. Two months later, he was found again with personally identifiable information (PII) and tax documents at the prison. (I wonder where he hid all of those?)

Wait, there ‘s more. He also had an encrypted spreadsheet with information on expected tax returns for false filings. An IRS investigator testified that the prisoner had placed a call from the prison to a former inmate residing in Illinois. He apparently provided instructions on which documents needed to be filed for specific tax returns. In addition, he also instructed the former inmate to submit those filings by Tax Day or file for an extension.

The prisoner was sentenced to two additional years for the tax scheme that occurred behind bars. (In the grand scheme of things, two years may not mean a lot to someone who is already serving about a third of his life behind bars.) The incarcerated man ‘s 44-year-old partner in crime pleaded guilty to committing two counts of aggravated identity theft and is awaiting sentencing.

It looks like this criminal now has 19 more years, instead of 17, to spend behind bars. No matter how grand the scheme, the government considers all fraudulent actions to be illegal. (Perhaps this fraudster should consider a legal hobby like playing cards or chess and try to stay out of trouble for the foreseeable future.)

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Federal inmate gets 2 more years for tax scheme behind bars,” published by The Exponent Telegram on May 18, 2017.

CLARKSBURG‚An inmate serving time in federal prison for carrying a firearm during two South Carolina robberies has been sentenced to 2 more years for a tax fraud scheme emanating from behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley sentenced Daniel Aaron Stone on Thursday. The extra time means Stone’s discharge date will move from 2034 to early 2036.

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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.