From the Gridiron to the Chain Gang

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Blank notepad with tax form and calculator on white table. Top view. Space for text.

From gridiron star to businessman to prison inmate. That is the unlikely journey of a former Florida State University (FSU) football standout who was indicted on federal charges of filing false tax returns through his tax-preparation business.

Kenneth Alexander, a starting linebacker and team captain of FSU’s 1993 championship team, recently pleaded guilty to three of nine counts as part of the agreement in this Tax fraud scheme. In return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will drop the remaining six counts.

However, Alexander still faces mandatory prison time and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, according to court documents. He also agreed to make full restitution to the IRS totaling $1.05 million. (Ouch!)

Alexander, who owned the now-defunct Wizard Business Center, agreed to plead guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false return, aiding and abetting the theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. He could be sentenced up to three years in prison on the first charge, up to 10 years on the second and a mandatory two-year term on the third, which would run consecutive with any other time.

Prosecutors said Alexander falsely represented itemized deductions, losses and marital status in tax returns he prepared for 10 different customers between 2012 and 2016. (Ironically, the company’s old Facebook page claims that Wizard Business Center provides guaranteed maximum refunds.  Maybe, they should have added “By Any Means Necessary.”)

Federal prosecutors wrote in court documents that Alexander pleaded guilty because he knew he was guilty of the charges and the government could present evidence proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges grew out of an investigation by the IRS and the Emerald Coast Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes IRS criminal investigators, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General.

Alexander, who started for three seasons at FSU, was the Seminoles’ leading tackler in 1993. He earned a law degree after getting an NCAA postgraduate scholarship (That’s impressive! Too bad he didn’t put it to good use.) He also served on FSU’s Alumni Board for six years.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “Former FSU football standout takes plea deal in federal tax fraud case,” published by Tallahassee Democrat on April 23, 2019.

A former Florida State University football standout who was indicted on federal charges of filing false tax returns through his tax-preparation business has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Kenneth Alexander, who was a starting linebacker and team captain of FSU’s 1993 championship team, will plead guilty to three of nine counts as part of the agreement. In return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will drop the remaining six counts.

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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.