Cashing In On Identity Fraud

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The idea behind a check cashing business is pretty easy to understand. If someone does not have a bank account, they can visit a check cashing store; endorse the check, and present identification to immediately receive cash back less a transaction fee. It’s also one way criminals can carry out their fraudulent schemes. An article posted on PilotOnline.com details the story of a check cashing business employee who accepted kickbacks for her part in a multimillion-dollar identity theft scheme.

The story says that a former used-car salesman stole personal identification information and used it to file nearly 700 bogus income tax returns over a two-year period. The tax refund checks were mailed to various addresses across four states, including his home in Virginia. The man then visited a local check cashing business where a clerk proceeded to cash 640 checks worth almost $2.1 million. (Because the clerk was paid a $200 kickback per check, she didn’t check the fraudster’s identity. She made off with $128,000 as a result of her criminal acts.)

The scheme was uncovered after the check cashing business learned of the fraud. The 34-year-old clerk was fired and the IRS was contacted. Subsequently, the former check cashing business employee pleaded guilty to her part in the scam and is scheduled to be sentenced.

The clerk’s defense attorney described her as a ”decent individual with no criminal record” and ”very remorseful.” (Regardless of her seemingly spotless past, she now has a criminal record that will negatively identify her for the rest of her life.) Even though she is regretful of her actions, she will no longer be able to cash in on fraud at the government’s expense.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Norfolk Woman Admits to Identity Theft Scheme,” written by Scott Daugherty and posted on PilotOnline.com on December 31, 2014.

A former employee of a Norfolk check cashing business pleaded guilty Tuesday to facilitating a multimillion-dollar identity theft scheme that netted her about $128,000 in kickbacks.

Tanya A. Evans, 34, of Norfolk is set to be sentenced April 7 in U.S. District Court.

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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.