Schemers are Dreamers


The primary function of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Scheme Development Center (SDC) is to detect suspicious criminal activity involving tax and related financial investigations and to assemble information on the suspected individuals and entities involved. (One of their responsibilities is to investigate tax return preparer fraud.) An article published in The Telegraph tells about a tax preparation business that got a surprise visit from some undercover investigators associated with the SDC.

The article explains that a woman, who operated a New York tax return preparation business, was visited by two undercover agents seeking to have their tax returns prepared. (Apparently, the owner falsified several schedules and education expenses on the two tax returns.) Further research revealed that the tax preparation business owner filed 492 federal income tax returns, which resulted in a loss of more than $1 M to the U.S. Treasury.

The 33-year-old woman pleaded guilty to two counts of making false claims and was sentenced to serve 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. She also was ordered to pay $1,052,302.86 in restitution and serve 450 hours of community service.

Schemers are usually dreamers. They tend to focus on how much money they can get without regards to the impact it has on other honest taxpayers who faithfully pay their taxes every year. In this case, the schemer probably didn’t think about the consequences of getting caught. (Her once lucrative dream has now turned into a nightmare.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Alton Woman Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud,” published by The Telegraph on April 18, 2015.

ALTON — An Alton woman, among 17 people facing federal indictments for tax fraud-related crimes, has been sentenced to serve 46 months in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release, and to repay more than $1 million as a result of her convictions for two counts of making false claims against the United States, U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton announced this week.

The woman, Aisha Wright, 33, originally waived the indictment against her and pleaded guilty Jan. 16 to two counts of making false claims against the United States.

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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.