Crooks Defrauding Crooks

33279258 - handcuffed hands

Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. Today’s fraud report is about a man who tried have it all and get rich by committing tax refund fraud and now has plenty of time to think about his actions. According to the, the man was sentenced to 70 months (that’s nearly six years) behind bars for a variety of charges stemming from his tax refund fraud scheme, including conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Oh…and if that wasn’t enough, he also faces additional prison time in connection with a bank robbery case. (Robbing a bank too? He could have just sent in a few additional fraudulent tax forms to make the big bucks.)

His tax return fraud scam was simple? he used Social Security Numbers and birth dates of prison inmates to file fraudulent tax returns. (Crooks defrauding other crooks. What is this world coming to?? The scheme was discovered as part of an investigation into a bank robbery case. Investigators from the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked for over a year to identify the phony tax returns. (Wouldn’t it be great if there was a solution to help find fraud in the tax refund process? Wait…there is!)

Like many good fraudsters, the man had a partner in crime – a woman who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. She helped to obtain post office boxes, where refunds for the false tax returns she filed were mailed. She received jail time – one year and one day – and was ordered to pay $148,685 in restitution. (You’d be surprised how often fraud happens at those P.O. boxes.)

Well, the crook who stole from crooks will be joining them soon. In addition to receiving 70 months in prison for the tax refund fraud scam, he also faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the bank robbery charge. He also could face an additional seven years for using a weapon during the robbery. (Dah? For tax refund fraud, you just need a pen or a laptop as the weapon of choice.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Prison time for tax fraud,” By Dennis Sherer, published by the, January 25, 2012.

A Tuscumbia man is headed to federal prison for almost six years for filing false income tax returns. He also faces an additional prison sentence for bank robbery. U.S. District Judge Inge P. Johnson sentenced Ricky Walter Denton on Tuesday to 70 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Denton, 46, pleaded guilty to the charges in August. He was accused of using Social Security numbers and birth dates of prison inmates to file fraudulent tax returns. Police discovered the scheme while investigating the December 2009 robbery of the Ford City branch of First Southern Bank. Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said his investigators discovered the apparent tax fraud and contacted the IRS. He said investigators from his office, the Internal Revenue Service and the Florence FBI office spent more than a year tracking down the fraudulent tax returns.

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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.