Blind Ambition

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Blind ambition is a term used to describe someone who is so immersed in a goal that they will do anything and everything to achieve that goal no matter the consequences of their actions. An article published in the New York Daily News describes a legally blind tax preparer who was bound and determined to cheat both the federal and New York State governments out of nearly $2.6 million.

The story states that over a seven-year period, the man who operated his tax preparation business out of a store in the Bronx, filed at least 4,000 illegal tax returns totaling $7 million in claims with New York State and the Internal Revenue Service. Because of his illegal actions, bogus refunds were issued. (He also generated more than $500,000 in fees from his clients for the phony claims, which included fraudulent tuition credits of $4,000 on each false tax return.)

The 40-year-old man pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing to a false and fraudulent return for himself, one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false return for a relative and one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. (Prior to pleading guilty, he faced up to 26 years in prison.) The former tax preparer also is required to pay restitution of $2,597,419 to the U.S. Treasury and New York.

Even though the man apologized for his actions before the judge, she decided that his crime deserved a severe punishment. Perhaps the prison experience and steep financial penalty will cause this fraudster to pause and reflect on what honest ambition looks like.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Scamming IRS out of $2.6M by Filing Bogus Tax Claims,” written by Daniel Beekman and published by the New York Daily News on July 1, 2014.

A tax preparer who scammed the IRS out of nearly $2.6 million by claiming bogus deductions, expenses and credits for poor Bronx residents was sentenced to almost five years in prison Monday in Manhattan Federal Court.

Mark Goldberg, who ran E&M Multi-Services from a Melrose dollar store, made $500,000 in fees while filing $7 million in phony claims for thousands of taxpayers. He pleaded guilty last year.

 

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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.