Hide and Go Seek

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Fraudsters tend to think that if they can hide stolen money or benefits, the government will never be able to find them or their secret stash. (However, the government is pretty good at playing Hide and Go Seek. They know all of the hiding places.) Two fraudsters from Louisiana tried to get away with more than $815,000 in tax fraud, but their overseas hiding place was eventually discovered and their cover was blown.

For more than two years, a man and a woman knew about and allowed individuals from overseas to use stolen identities to file tax returns. The individuals located overseas deposited more than $815,000 in bogus Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refunds into the man’s bank accounts. (Some of the money was wired overseas, but about $45,000 was spent.)

After a three-day trial, the 37-year-old man was found guilty on charges related to using stolen identities to file false tax returns. He was sentenced to five years in prison plus three years of supervised release. He will also pay more than $45,000 in restitution to the IRS and a bank. His 40-year-old female co-conspirator was sentenced to 25 months in prison and three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay more than $45,000 in restitution.

These two fraudsters were probably hoping that their scam would go on forever, however this round of Hide and Go Seek has definitely come to an end. (As always, there is a winner and a loser.) It looks like these two losers are going to have a challenge finding a place to hide in prison.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Patterson Man Sentenced to 60 Months for Scheme to Commit Tax Fraud,” published by the Banner-Tribune Daily Review on August 30, 2016.

ALEXANDRIA, LA. – A Patterson man was sentenced to 60 months in prison Monday for his role in a scheme to use stolen identities to file false tax returns and pocket refunds, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said in a news release.

Louis W. Carbins Jr., 37, of Patterson, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, seven counts of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition to jail time, Drell sentenced Carbins to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $43,045.31 to the IRS and $2,196.71 to Patterson State Bank in restitution.

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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.