Threatening Fraud

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The Sovereign Citizen Movement includes anti-government extremists who reside in the United States but believe they do not have to answer to any U.S. government authority. Sovereign citizens are not known for paying their taxes (So, I guess we’re just supposed to pay their fair share…) and often obstruct the court system with frivolous lawsuits with the intent to harass public officials. The Chicago Sun-Times reports on a sovereign citizen who bilked the government of more than $1 million.

The story states that an Elmwood Park woman and two co-conspirators claimed nearly $8 million in tax refunds over a two-year period. The 67-year-old managed to swindle the federal government out of $1.2 million before she was caught.

The article goes on to say that the woman had sent threatening letters to the former top federal prosecutor claiming her ”sovereign citizen” status was reason enough to exempt her from federal law. (Sending threats was definitely not a smart move.) The suburban tax cheat was sentenced to five years in prison.

Because of her extremist ideologies, this fraudster didn’t think she had to answer to anyone for her actions. Let’s hope that she has learned from the experience. To take advantage of all the rights and privileges that come with U.S. citizenship, you must answer to government authorities. She’ll get in some practice of answering to authorities while serving out her prison term.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”$1.2 Million Tax Fraud Nets 5-year Sentence for Suburban Woman,” written by Kim Janssen and published by the Chicago Sun-Times on January 8, 2014.

A suburban tax cheat who tricked the IRS into paying her more than $1 million in refunds was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday.

But Shannon Anzaldi, 67, of Elmwood Park, went down swinging, sending threatening letters to Chicago’s former top federal prosecutor and claiming she’s a ”sovereign citizen” exempt from federal law.


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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.