Addicted to Fraud


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…and I’ll pay you $409,000. That’s the lesson the government is teaching in today’s story from The Tampa Tribune. It begins with a woman who allegedly stole identities from both living and dead persons (Fraudsters love the dead guys, no complaints), then electronically filed them through systems like Tax Act or Turbo Tax to commit more than $250,000 in fraud. But of course, that’s only the beginning. After being caught, she agreed to cooperate with investigators and was released free on bail. Bad mistake.

According to The Tampa Tribune, while investigators were gathering the evidence against her, she was gathering more money from the government by committing an additional $409,000 in fraud. That’s right – she allegedly more than doubled her fraud against the government after signing her plea agreement, which is pretty darn impressive for her sake, but pretty darn depressing for the government. The judge thereafter took the judicious step of revoking her bail, and waited as the investigators did more of their investigating.

Now the fraudster will have a long time to contemplate the ordeal, because just this month she was sentenced to nine years in federal prison and ordered to repay the U.S. Treasury $672,887, as well as any profits from her schemes. But the moral of the story is clear? fool me three times… look, don’t fool with me or you’ll go to jail (eventually

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Nine-year sentence for woman in $672,000 tax fraud scam” by Josh Poltilove published by The Tampa Tribune, December 9, 2011.

TAMPA — A woman who committed more than $670,000 in tax fraud and mail fraud was sentenced Thursday to nine years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington also ordered Shawntrece Sims to repay the U.S. Treasury $672,887 and forfeit profits from her scheme to defraud the government.

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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.