Taking a Cut


When there’s easy money to be had, there are usually a few unscrupulous individuals just waiting to form an alliance if it means they get to take a cut from the illegal deal. An article published by the Tallahassee Democrat tells about one woman and two co-conspirators who used a fraudulent tax refund check cashing scheme to steal thousands of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The article states that the woman who spearheaded the scheme used stolen personal identification information to cash more than $50,000 in IRS tax refund checks. (She also went to the trouble of obtaining fake power of attorney forms to cash some of the checks.) She shared a cut of the illegal proceeds with one co-conspirator, who prepared and filed the tax returns and with another one, who actually cashed the checks.

The 30-year-old woman was sentenced to four years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft and stealing government property. She will also serve three years of supervised release after her prison term and will pay $54,324 in restitution to the IRS.

This case is an important reminder to guard your personal information. Congratulations to the investigators with the IRS and U.S. Secret Service for cutting off these fraudsters and bringing them to justice.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Tallahassee Women Sentenced to Federal Prison for Tax Return Fraud,” written by TaMaryn and published by the Tallahassee Democrat on April 10, 2015.

Federal officials today announced a Tallahassee woman has been sentenced to prison for stealing government property and aggravated identity theft.

Tashina Phillips, 30, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker. Phillips also was ordered to pay $54,324 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

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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.