Cabin Fever

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Alaska has an estimated 67 days of total darkness in the northern most portion of the state commonly referred to as America’s last frontier. The conditions can be harsh in the winter with subzero temperatures and an average of six feet of snow each year, keeping many residents inside during the cold months. According to an article posted on KTUU.com, a couple of prisoners kept from succumbing to cabin fever by running a tax fraud scheme from behind bars.

The story states that an Alaska man, who was already serving time in prison was sentenced to an additional seven years and eight months for his involvement in a jailhouse tax fraud scheme involving stolen identities. He and three fellow prisoners obtained the names and Social Security numbers of 210 people, many of them belonging to other inmates. (Perhaps he worked out a deal where they supplied their personal information in exchange for a kickback. If caught, they could claim they were victims.) All together, the foursome filed 428 false tax returns and netted refunds totaling more than $681,000.

In addition to the extra time in prison, the 41-year-old fraudster was ordered to pay $384,892 in restitution. The other three co-conspirators have pleaded guilty with two being sentenced to additional time behind bars and one awaiting his fate.

While these criminals are stuck behind bars for the near future, at least they haven’t been banished to the frozen tundra. Perhaps while serving out their extended sentences, these co-conspirators will finally realize the seriousness of their actions. This tax fraud conviction means their illegally gained cold hard cash has led to more time behind cold steel bars and a hard bunk. (I’m guessing cabin fever is not far behind.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Alaska prisoners filed 428 false tax returns in identity theft scheme,” posted on KTUU.com on September 8, 2016.

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) An Alaska man was sentenced Wednesday to 92 months in prison for his role in a jailhouse tax fraud scheme, prosecutors say.

Jesse Scott Wilson, 41, was part of a group of prisoners who were conspiring to illegally obtain tax refunds.

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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.