Repeat Offenders

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income, part of tax return form, close up shot

It is interesting to examine the rate of recidivism, or the tendency for a convicted criminal to become a repeat offender. According to a special report by the U.S. Department of Justice, 68% of released prisoners were arrested within three years, 79% within six years, and 83% within nine years. A Wilkes-Barre, Pa., woman and her husband fall into the largest group of repeat offenders mentioned in the report for committing tax fraud the second time around.

Operating as the corporation known as Hindi Beginnings, Krisandra Strausser Capozzi, 53, and her husband, Frank J. Capozzi, 62 conspired with business partner Robert S. Monaco, 57, to file fraudulent tax returns between 2010 and 2014. The three filed false returns for themselves and others, who handed over their personal information for other purposes. (Not sure what the other purposes were, but the IRS says the trio allegedly used these identifies to file bogus tax returns seeking refunds.)

The three defendants submitted 76 fraudulent tax returns to the IRS over five years. The bogus tax returns were submitted electronically and by mail, using the names of dozens of people listed on mailboxes at physical properties to carry out the scheme. (Perhaps it’s time to take your name off your mailbox, just to be safe.)

Krisandra Strauuser Capozzi pleaded guilty to tax fraud, was sentenced to serve five months in prison, and ordered to pay $397,670 in restitution. Her husband and business partner each pleaded guilty to tax fraud and are scheduled to be sentenced. In addition, the husband pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft.

The threesome’s previous run in with the law had to do with defrauding Allstate Insurance out of thousands of dollars in disability payments. (Frank Capozzi falsely reported his income after he was injured in a car accident.) The business partner ended up pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and was sentenced to three to 12 months in jail. The husband and wife went to trial, but they were ultimately convicted for making a false insurance claim, insurance fraud and conspiracy. Both husband and wife got time in jail for committing the crime. (If that DOJ report is right, we might be seeing these names in the headlines again within the next few years.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “W-B woman gets prison for tax fraud scheme,” published by The Citizen Voice on January 9, 2020.

A Wilkes-Barre woman who pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by filing false tax returns has been sentenced to serve five months in prison.

Krisandra Strausser Capozzi, 53, was sentenced Tuesday in Scranton before U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley, who also ordered her to pay $397,670 in restitution to the U.S. government.

 

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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.