More is Less

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20067797 - w2 tax form and social security cards

Deep down, criminals believe that they deserve more. Whether they want more money, another luxury vehicle, expensive jewelry or a fancy lifestyle, their selfish desire to claim more out of life than they deserve usually leaves them with less in the end. The Smyrna-Vinings Patch reports on a man who wanted more money and went about his desire by illegally claiming more than $5 million in bogus tax refunds.

The story states that the 38-year-old man used the identities of unsuspecting victims to file approximately 5,000 fraudulent tax returns for more than a year. He enticed his victims by telling them they could earn a ”stimulus payment” or ”free government money” by providing their names and Social Security numbers (SSN). He gathered his information through word-of-mouth marketing and also through using toll-free telephone numbers to collect personal identifying information. (Always think twice before giving out your SSN – and never provide it over the phone.)

The personal information was used to file tax returns requesting millions in bogus refunds. He claimed false income amounts and student credits to make the claims and had the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deposit the refunds into multiple bank accounts, which he controlled. (The story also states that seven bank accounts containing more than $4.1 million from this scheme were seized by the U.S.)

The fraudster was taken into custody after being convicted on 16 counts each of wire fraud, identity theft, filing false claims and two counts of money laundering. (There’s a good chance he will have to forfeit the money stashed in his bank accounts.)

As this criminal awaits sentencing, he might be thinking that he deserved the money he stole from honest taxpayers. (What he really deserves is a lengthy prison term where he can think about his selfish actions.) It won’t be long until he has to face the reality that having more of what you don’t deserve often leaves you with less in the end.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Smyrna Man Convicted of Tax Fraud and Identity Theft,” published on the Smyrna-Vinings Patch on April 21, 2014.

A federal jury has found Mauricio Warner, 38, of Smyrna, guilty of using the identities of thousands of unsuspecting individuals to file federal tax returns claiming over $5 million in bogus refunds.

According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From approximately January 2011 to April 2012, Warner filed more than 5,000 false tax returns using the names and Social Security numbers of unsuspecting victims.

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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.