Recent Prosecutions for tax Refund Fraud
Former U.S. Marine Sentenced to 57 Months for Identity Theft
Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Targeting U.S. Marines
December 21, 2012 – Southern District of Florida
FBI E-Mail Updates
Former U.S. Marine Sentenced to 57 Months for Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Targeting U.S. Marines
Dec. 21, 2012
TAMPA—U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven sentenced a Defendant to 28 months in federal prison for presenting a false tax return to the United States government and for identity theft. The court also ordered the Defendant to forfeit a number of assets that are traceable to proceeds of the offense—including televisions, computers, jewelry, and other luxury items. As part of her sentence, the Defendant was also ordered to pay $273,254 in restitution, of which approximately $105,280 has already been recovered by the United States. The Defendant pleaded guilty on May 29, 2012.
Sept. 25, 2012
MIAMI—Federal charges were filed today against 40 defendants in 20 separate cases, dealing with thousands of stolen identities and millions of dollars of fraudulent identity theft tax filings. Today’s cases reaffirm the joint federal and local commitment to crack-down on stolen identity tax refund (SITR) fraud perpetrators. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida had the highest rate of identity theft in the United States in 2011. While identity theft in Florida ranks highest in the United States, the identity theft rate in Miami has reached near epidemic proportions.
Florida’s rate of 178 complaints per 100,000 residents—the highest in the United States—is dwarfed by the Miami rate of 324.1 complaints per 100,000 residents. Moreover, a September 2012 report by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) determined that Florida has the highest rate of stolen identity tax refund fraud in the United States.
The report identified 74,496 potentially fraudulent returns filed in Miami resulting in more than $280 million in bogus refunds. Miami’s per capita number of false returns based on identity theft was 46 times the national average, and its per capita SITR fraud dollar value was more than 70 times the national average.
This problem is projected to grow: the TIGTA report estimates that the IRS could issue as much as $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years.
Oct. 10, 2012