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Balancing Small Business

Poe's Accounting Service's blog for helping small businesses get more out of their financial accounting.

5 MAJOR IDENTITY THEFT PROSECUTIONS

Reformation Productions Agency - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The IRS has warned that identity theft is no longer the domain of small time thieves. Rather, it's increasingly undertaken by multinational criminal enterprises that obtain personal information online. Here are 5 of the largest cases of identity theft in 2015, including several involving residents of Georgia:


    • 1.Keisha Lanier of Newnan, Georgia, and Tracy Mitchell were handed stiff sentences by a court in Alabama for heading a large identity theft ring which filed over 9,000 individual tax returns. The sources for the stolen identities included the US Army, several Alabama state agencies and a call center in Georgia. After receiving the refunds from financial institutions, the fraudsters printed out checks from check stock that had been sent to their homes. When the institutions stopped this practice, the thieves recruited US Postal Service employees who supplied them with addresses on their routes. The postal employees then handed over the checks for a fee. Via a sophisticated money laundering operation, the $10,000,000 in refunds received was cashed at businesses in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky.

      • 2.Georgia residents Patrice and Antonio Taylor, Jarrett Jones and Victoria Davis were convicted of filing over 1,100 fraudulent tax returns. A cellphone belonging to Patrice Taylor was used to call the IRS’s Automated Electronic Filing PIN Request 114 times. Taylor, who was employed at Tift Regional Hospital, stole the personal information of five patients and 531 sixteen year olds and used it to submit fake returns.

      • 3.Three men based in Miami, Florida, stole personal identity information and filed hundreds of fake tax returns using online tax preparation programs. They requested that the refunds be placed on prepaid debit cards which were mailed to addresses they had supplied.
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      • 4.Stacy Williams of Statesboro, Georgia, was the last of 15 Georgia residents charged under a large identity theft and tax fraud scheme. Williams was sentenced to 94 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution.

      • 5.A career criminal, his wife and other participants in Tampa, Florida, used lists and medical records of 7,000 people to obtain stolen names, social security numbers and dates of birth. They filed fake tax returns and opened prepaid debit cards to obtain $3,000,000 in refunds over three years.


To protect yourself from tax-related identify theft, ask your tax preparer or accountant about the expanded new security strategies implemented by the IRS, states and the tax industry for the 2016 filing season.


At Poe's Accounting Services and Lightning Tax Services, we specialize in simplifying our client's financials and taxes and taking the anxiety and confusion out of the accounting process.

 

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