Choose Your Friends Wisely


It is important to choose friends and business partners wisely because bad company corrupts good character. An article published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details the story of nine unscrupulous business associates who ran a scam that bilked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of more than $2 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

The story states that the tax refund scam involved using the stolen identities of more than 1,000 victims. (One of the fraudsters used his position as a former government employee to steal the victims’ identities.) For more than a year, the ringleader and his co-conspirators used fake wage and withholding information to prepare and electronically file the bogus returns worth $5 million. Fortunately, the IRS was able to intercept the majority of fraudulent returns.

The 38-year-old ringleader was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $1.2 million. The former government employee was sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution.

The other seven criminals who ranged in age from 30 to 40 years old received sentences from one year of probation to up to six years and one month in federal prison. Restitution amounts for the seven co-conspirators ranged from $9,265 to $888,697.

It’s hard to know if any of these bad actors had good character to start with, but together they formed a very corrupt team. Fortunately, the government doesn’t tolerate attacks against the integrity of the federal income tax system and will do anything within the means of the law to prevent the victimization of its taxpayers.


Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”9 Headed to Prison for $5 Million Income Tax Scheme,” written by Alexis Stevens and published by The Atlanta Journal Constitution on March 11, 2015.

Nine people from metro Atlanta, including a former Social Security Administration employee, were sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a $5 million income tax scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

The scheme involved stolen identities from more than 1,000 people, Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn said in an emailed statement.

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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.