The Mother Daughter Bond

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The mother-daughter bond can be tricky. While most daughters look up to their mothers as role models, most moms who try to maintain a good relationship with their daughters must strike a balance between not being too controlling and being a friend. Suffice to say, today’s fraudster from Beachwood, Ohio was not a good role model for her daughter, nor a good friend in any way, shape or form. The mother masterminded a tax fraud and identity theft scheme and pulled her daughter into the mayhem that ensued.

The mother-daughter duo used stolen identities captured from a previous fraud scheme to carry out the current tax fraud scheme. (That’s handy. You never know when you’re going to need a few stolen identities to carry out tax fraud.) The mom and daughter then used the stolen identities to file bogus tax returns with the IRS.

The two used one “address of record” for the tax returns. (I’m sure the IRS figured out what was going on when multiple tax returns were associated with the same address.) Apparently, they also left an email trail between one another that documented them referring to victims 1 through 31 with a specific code. (They also made up email addresses for each purported client so the two could communicate with the IRS on their behalf.)

The daughter aided her mom in the tax fraud scheme by filing the tax returns online. When she received the prepaid debit cards that contained tax refunds in the names of the stolen identities, she used them to withdraw cash or make purchases. (It wasn’t long before the IRS put the kibosh on the whole scheme.)

The mom behind the scheme was convicted of 29 tax fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. Judge and jury decided to give her more than 17 years behind bars for her crimes. Her daughter pleaded guilty to assisting her mother the scam and was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Both will each pay $63,000 in restitution. (There’s no doubt that the mom’s unscrupulous actions have severed the mother-daughter bond they once shared. One thing’s for sure – family gatherings will never be the same again.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Patch.com article, “Beachwood Woman Sentenced For Tax Return Fraud,” posted Oct. 8, 2019.

BEACHWOOD, OH — A Beachwood woman will spend more than 17 years in prison for stealing identities and filing false tax returns, the Department of Justice announced. Aesha Johnson was convicted by a jury earlier this year on 29 charges. Her daughter pleaded guilty to aiding the fraud.

“This pair stole people’s identities then used it to steal from taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “The community is safer with Ms. Johnson behind bars.”

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.