What’s Yours is Mine

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Fraudsters tend to believe that ”What’s yours is mine.” (They want what their victims have.) Whether motivated by jealousy, greed, envy or selfishness, there are just some people that believe they have the right to take what doesn’t belong to them. An article published by The News Journal tells about a Georgia man who is charged with supplying the personal identification information belonging to hundreds of victims to co-conspirators who sought more than $4 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

The story states that the 26-year-old man allegedly provided names and Social Security numbers to multiple co-conspirators, who then used the information to file more than 600 false tax returns. (The article also states that many of the victims received Social Security Disability benefits. Talk about bad luck.)

The indictment further alleges that the fraudulent tax returns were filed electronically using another person’s identity to submit the claims. The money obtained from the illegal activity was deposited into multiple bank accounts belonging to the conspirators. (They purportedly used cash and money orders to hide the trail of the illegal tax refunds.)

One co-conspirator has already pleaded guilty to false claims conspiracy and access device fraud and is currently awaiting sentencing. The man currently charged is innocent until proven guilty, but he will face up to 20 years in jail for wire fraud and money laundering, plus an additional 10 years for false claims conspiracy and aiding and abetting access device fraud, if convicted. (My guess is that his co-conspirator divulged his alleged activities in order to get a lesser sentence.)

This case is a prime example of how serious the government takes tax refund fraud. They go after those who try to take what does not belong to them. This type of offense not only prevents the government from working efficiently, but it also hurts victims who are entitled to a refund and American citizens who work hard to pay their taxes.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Smyrna Man Charged in $4 Million Tax Fraud Scheme,” written by Terri Sanginiti and published by The News Journal on September 3, 2014.

A Smyrna man was indicted by a federal grand jury for providing hundreds of names and social security numbers to his cohorts to use in a scheme seeking $4 million in tax refunds, authorities said Wednesday.

James Ekeke, 26, was charged with false claims conspiracy, aiding and abetting access device fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, said Kimberlynn Reeves, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware.

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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.