Making A Statement


People have been known to do some crazy things to get their point across. An article published in The Denver Post tells what happened to three Colorado Springs residents who stated they were only trying to make a political point by filing false documents that could have cost the government $100 billion.

The story states that the trio created false documentation that showed several banks had withheld millions of dollars in taxes for interest and mortgage earnings then forwarded the funds to the Internal Revenue Service. (One of the defendants claimed $22 million in false tax refunds over a four-year period.)

The article reported that the three defendants were making a political statement by seeking credit for more than $100 billion in tax payments.

Unfortunately for the fraudulent trio, who represented themselves in court, 30 IRS and U.S. Treasury witnesses testified that the perpetrators had signed off on the ”private registered bonds for setoff” documents payable to the Department of Treasury for $100 billion. Further research revealed that the three ignored numerous warnings about the consequences of making ”frivolous claims.” In response to the warnings, the defendants mailed lien notices to the IRS and the U.S. Treasury officers stating that they owed $1.1 billion or $2.2 billion in damages and penalties.

The jury didn’t buy the defendants testimony and returned a guilty verdict for all three. The story states that the trio, who were dressed in white attire with U.S. and Colorado flag patches, were handcuffed and led out of the courtroom following the verdict. Although, they failed at convincing the jury that they were just making a political statement, the court succeeded in making its own statement. The government doesn’t put up with frivolous claims and will prosecute those who attempt to steal money from the U.S. Treasury.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Jury Convicts 3 Colorado Residents in $100 Billion Tax Fraud Scheme,” written by Kirk Mitchell and published by The Denver Post on November 7, 2014.

A jury on Friday convicted three Colorado Springs residents on numerous tax fraud counts in a case in which they tried to defraud the government out of more than $100 billion.

Judge Christine M. Arguello remanded George Brokaw, John Pawelski and Mimi Vigil to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service for a release hearing.

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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.