The Right to Pay Taxes


When an individual is convicted of a felony, they lose the right to vote, travel abroad, bear arms or own guns, serve on a jury, work in certain fields, public social benefits and housing and parental benefits. One of the rights that felons, not to mention the rest of us, would not mind losing is the requirement to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). No such luck for a Binghamton, New York man who thought he’d outsmart the IRS through a tax refund fraud scheme he learned about while serving time in state prison.

The former state prisoner was serving time in state prison after being convicted of felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, attempted burglary and perjury, when he learned about a way to commit tax refund fraud. Court records show that the tax refund fraud scheme involved falsely claiming credits from the District Attorney’s Office that prosecuted the New Yorker.

Trial evidence shows that today’s defendant filed a tax return claiming $6,125,000 in income by falsifying Form 1099 OID, which notes withholding credits. He also claimed federal tax withholdings in the same amount, seeking the same amount in refunds. His actual income during the year he filed for was $3,127.36. (The IRS knew the correct amount of his income. Apparently, he was hoping they would not.) When the IRS reviewed the felon’s tax return, the agency sent correspondence requesting him to file a corrected return immediately. The felon did not do as he was asked and persisted in his efforts to obtain a $6,125,000 return. Fortunately, the IRS did not issue a refund.

The Binghamton drug convict, who was already in prison for unrelated crimes, originally pleaded not guilty to the tax fraud charges against him. However, the 40-year-old felon was convicted of tax refund fraud after a four-day trial. (This guy really has trouble with telling the truth.) When sentenced, he faces up to five years in prison in addition to the time he is already serving. Today’s criminal not only failed at swindling the government out of more than $6 million, but it’s a given that he will be under intense scrutiny from the IRS from now on. (At least he still has the right to pay his taxes. That’s one thing that will not be taken away from him.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Binghamton man convicted of federal tax fraud,” posted on on May 3, 2019.  

A Binghamton man was convicted Friday of federal tax fraud.

Kareem Young, 40, faces up to five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 24 by Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

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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.