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 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.