Inside Job

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Fraudsters often try to fly under the radar so that their illegal acts can go undetected. This often requires some help from the inside where fraudsters abuse their positions of power to steal from others. The Atlanta Journal Constitution details how two former bank employees used their jobs to claim $500,000 in fraudulent tax refunds using stolen personal information of unsuspecting victims.

The story states that the two men at the center of this case were considered to be trusted employees at the financial institution where they worked. (”All the world is made of faith and trust and pixie dust.”) The scam started with opening many bank accounts in the names of people whose identities had been stolen.

Unfortunately, then the two men used the stolen personal identification information to file more than 2,000 fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, seeking more than $2.8 million in bogus refunds. (Getting caught in their tracks!)

The 50-year-old mastermind of the scheme received a six-year prison sentence and must pay $570,034 in restitution. The 40-year-old co-conspirator received a two-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $9,464 in restitution. Both will follow their prison term with three years of supervised release.

It appears that neither one of these fraudsters were proficient at math, which is odd since they both worked at a bank. Fortunately, the investigators were excellent students of fraud and when 2 and 2 added up to $500,000, the problem was solved. Let’s hope that these two criminals who used their positions to victimize innocent taxpayers have learned a valuable lesson: fraud is a zero-sum game. Although they had an initial gain by defrauding others, they had to pay it all back and then some in the end. Now they are left with a deficit, a prison sentence and a permanent blemishes on their records.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article, ”Former Atlanta bank employees sentenced in tax-refund fraud scheme,” published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on March 16, 2016.

Two former bank employees have been sentenced in Atlanta for their roles in a scheme that sought more than $2.8 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

Jeoffrey Jenkins and Vaughn Chambers were trusted insiders who abused their roles to commit crimes and ”victimize innocent taxpayers for their own personal gain,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a media release Wednesday.

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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.