A Florida woman who was found guilty of tax fraud was sentenced on July 18. According to the report, the 41-year-old Gibsonton woman pleaded guilty on April 25 to receiving more than $43,000 in income tax refunds by filing fraudulent tax returns using the names of other people in 2011.
Federal prosecutors have charged several Florida residents in a fraudulent tax refund scheme that allegedly surrounded a Winter Garden convenience store. The couple that runs the store has been accused of knowingly buying and cashing fraudulent refund checks through the store's check-cashing service. The pair allegedly charged approximately half the checks' face value to cash them and ultimately cashed over $20 million, according to IRS agents.
A Polk County man was sentenced to serve seven years in federal prison after pleading guilty in a tax fraud case. The 50-year-old man entered a plea of guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on March 7. He will also be required to forfeit the $325,886, which the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida identified as the proceeds of the fraud scheme, as well as the $14,952 seized from his home in 2012.
A 56-year-old man has pleaded guilty in a case involving approximately $22 million in false tax refund claims. The unlicensed income tax preparer indicated that his involvement in the criminal tax fraud resulted in the Internal Revenue Service issuing his clients refunds of $4.5 million between 2011 and 2013. According to reports, the man explained that he was able to conceal his role in the fraudulent returns by neglecting to include his professional tax preparer information on the returns. Paper returns were mailed to the IRS in the case.
How many times have you heard someone say they’ll use their tax refund to pay off debts or make a purchase? What if the tax refund never comes? That is too often the case as tax fraud schemes divert funds from taxpayers in Miami and throughout the country. The schemes are so common that even U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the highest official in the country appointed to regulate tax fraud, has been a victim.
Federal authorities recently charged 25 South Florida people with criminal acts of identity theft and tax fraud. The suspected offenders allegedly stole close to 14,000 identities to file fraudulent income tax-returns in their names. The IRS paid $9.5 million to the suspects as a result of the fraudulently filed returns. In the last two years, the U.S. attorney’s office has prosecuted hundreds of people accused of stealing nearly 90,000 identities in attempts to commit acts of tax fraud.
A man was recently investigated for allegedly running a jewelry-investment scam that federal documents say added up to $45 million. The man eventually pleaded guilty to the crimes alleged. CBS4 reported that in order to reduce the 10-year prison term that he was facing, the man agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a related case.
Whether a Miami resident is the type that files early to get the task out of the way, drags his or her feet until just before the deadline or simply gets those returns signed in a reasonable amount of time, tax season is here. Taxpayers and preparers aren’t the only ones that pay a little more attention to tax laws during this period each year.
South Florida is greatly affected by events in the surrounding region. There is of course a long history of this. The most prominent example is still probably the migration of many Cubans to the Miami area decades ago in the wake of that country's revolution.
In part one of this post, we began discussing how authorities in South Florida have responded to concerns about tax refund fraud facilitated by identity theft.