Domino Effect

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A domino effect is said to occur when one action causes a chain reaction. (For example, when a number of dominoes are set very near to one another in a row, they all fall down when the first one is pushed over.) In an article published by The Springfield News-Leader, one woman who participated in a three-year tax fraud scheme that bilked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of more than $340,000 is the eleventh co-defendant to fall as a result of her illegal actions.

The story details that the woman became involved in the scam when she consented to allowing her computer and home address to be used to file the bogus tax returns over three years. (What was she thinking?) She also filed false tax returns in her own name, listing fake wages and federal income tax withholdings. (Her lies caused the IRS to issue $27,791 in fraudulent income tax refunds.)

Apparently, that was not all as she prepared and filed another false income tax return, this time for another person who claimed a bogus refund of more than $10,000 in one tax year. (Who wouldn’t love to receive a $10,000 tax refund? Maybe she figured that if it worked for her, why not share the wealth? Fraudsters are usually not that generous.)

The 33-year-old woman pleaded guilty to her part in the conspiracy and now faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The 43-year-old ringleader pleaded guilty to leading the conspiracy. Altogether, the co-conspirators in this case claimed $340,630 in IRS refunds. (Nearly all of the claims were false, causing a loss of $284,169 to the IRS.)

Perhaps this case serves as a good example as to why it is important to gauge your proximity to people who lack scruples. The closer you are to those who think it is acceptable to steal money from the government, the easier it is to get pushed in to doing something you will later regret. The inevitable reaction to fraudulent behavior is a hard fall that results in prosecution, conviction and punishment.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Springfield Woman Pleads Guilty in Tax Fraud Scheme,” published by The Springfield News-Leader on September 21, 2015.

A Springfield woman pleaded guilty in federal court Monday for her role in a fraudulent tax return preparation scheme that netted close to $340,000, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Claudia Dorsey, 33, pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the government. She is the 11th defendant to plead guilty in the scheme, according to the release.

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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.