What’s Yours is Mine

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Fraudsters tend to believe that ”What’s yours is mine.” (They want what their victims have.) Whether motivated by jealousy, greed, envy or selfishness, there are just some people that believe they have the right to take what doesn’t belong to them. An article published by The News Journal tells about a Georgia man who is charged with supplying the personal identification information belonging to hundreds of victims to co-conspirators who sought more than $4 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

The story states that the 26-year-old man allegedly provided names and Social Security numbers to multiple co-conspirators, who then used the information to file more than 600 false tax returns. (The article also states that many of the victims received Social Security Disability benefits. Talk about bad luck.)

The indictment further alleges that the fraudulent tax returns were filed electronically using another person’s identity to submit the claims. The money obtained from the illegal activity was deposited into multiple bank accounts belonging to the conspirators. (They purportedly used cash and money orders to hide the trail of the illegal tax refunds.)

One co-conspirator has already pleaded guilty to false claims conspiracy and access device fraud and is currently awaiting sentencing. The man currently charged is innocent until proven guilty, but he will face up to 20 years in jail for wire fraud and money laundering, plus an additional 10 years for false claims conspiracy and aiding and abetting access device fraud, if convicted. (My guess is that his co-conspirator divulged his alleged activities in order to get a lesser sentence.)

This case is a prime example of how serious the government takes tax refund fraud. They go after those who try to take what does not belong to them. This type of offense not only prevents the government from working efficiently, but it also hurts victims who are entitled to a refund and American citizens who work hard to pay their taxes.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Smyrna Man Charged in $4 Million Tax Fraud Scheme,” written by Terri Sanginiti and published by The News Journal on September 3, 2014.

A Smyrna man was indicted by a federal grand jury for providing hundreds of names and social security numbers to his cohorts to use in a scheme seeking $4 million in tax refunds, authorities said Wednesday.

James Ekeke, 26, was charged with false claims conspiracy, aiding and abetting access device fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, said Kimberlynn Reeves, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware.

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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.