Florida’s Organized Crime has found a New Target – Tax Refund Fraud

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The Tampa Bay Tribune article documents how the police uncovered what Tampa Bay Police Sgt. Terry Goff says is ”an explosion of tax fraud that permeated the city’s poorest neighborhoods and some of its most influential conclaves.”

ow was the alleged fraud perpetrated? Individuals beat system—and taxpayers—by developing and filing fake tax returns based on the Social Security Numbers of identity theft victims or deceased individuals and conducting a bit of basic Internet research on the target. And…they were organized! They even taught classes to 50-100 people for two months on how to earn ”’make rain”’ money from the government.

According to estimates, the total fraud in Tampa could be close to $1 billion.

So… what do you think? Is tax refund fraud limited to Tampa Bay? Somehow… I doubt it.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Police: Tampa street criminals steal millions filing fraudulent tax returns,” by Elaine Silvestrini and Lauren Mayk published by the Tampa Bay Tribune, Sept. 1, 2011.

Tampa — When drug dealers started disappearing from street corners earlier this year, Tampa police detectives thought something was going on.

And when officers made traffic stops, they began noticing something odd.

They were finding “massive amounts” of preloaded debit cards, along with ledgers and laptop computers, said Sgt. Terry Goff in an exclusive interview with The Tampa Tribune and News Channel 8.

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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.