Work Perks

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There are a number of perks that can come with a job. Your company could have season tickets to the local sports team you can access. Or, maybe you work in a restaurant and are allowed to eat for free. Perhaps, you work for a car dealer and receive significant discounts on cars and repairs. For today’s fraudster, her work perk was the ability to abuse the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tuition assistance program, among other illegal and fraudulent activities. (She took the idea of a “work perk” to the extreme.)

A former special agent and criminal investigator for the IRS was recently sentenced to 51 months in prison after a trial in the Eastern District of California found her guilty of obstruction of justice and stealing government money in a Tax Fraud scheme. Her sentence also includes a year of supervised release and the requirement to pay the IRS $4,000 in restitution (That’s not hardly enough IMO, read on to see why.)

Here’s how it all went down. During her time of employment with the IRS (2006-2014 to be exact), this fraudster, according to the evidence presented during her trial, filed six false tax returns—three personal tax returns and three in the names of trusts she created. According to the Justice Department on her personal tax returns, the fraudster “fraudulently claimed the head of household filing status, listed false dependents, and claimed deductions for education expenses to which she was not entitled” (And, that’s not all.) She also “obtained a fraudulent legal separation decree from the California Superior Court for Yolo County so that she and her husband could claim rental real estate loss deductions to which they were not entitled.  Further, on a trust tax return, she falsely claimed to be paying wages to her mother and her sister to care for her son and father.” (Um, is that all?)

No, it’s not all. This fraudster also bilked the IRS tuition assistance program by claiming to be taking what turned out to be fake English classes from a trust registered to her sister. (Didn’t she realize that these things are trackable?) I guess the idea of a “work perk” was much too enticing, and she deleted dozens of files from her government-issued laptop after investigators came looking for her.

All of this resulted in a loss of over $50,000 to the government as part of her Tax Fraud scheme. Congratulations to the special agents from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the IRS-Criminal Investigation division for investigating, catching and putting a stop to this fraudster’s blatant actions.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Ex-IRS Criminal Sleuth Sent to Prison for Tax Fraud, Theft,” published by Government Executive on October 24, 2018.

Nearly a decade after filing false tax returns, a former special agent and criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service was sentenced to 51 months in prison, the Justice Department announced.

Alena Aleykina, 45, was convicted in June of obstruction of justice and stealing government money from the tax agency’s tuition assistance program, after a trial in the Eastern District of California. Her sentence also includes a year of supervised release and to pay $4,000 in restitution to the IRS.

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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.