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Sentence handed down in Florida tax fraud case

A man based in Florida has finally been sentenced in a tax crime case. The man, 34, had been charged with multiple counts of aggravated identity theft. He pled guilty to both of those counts in a federal court, and his plea was accepted by the judge presiding over the case. In addition to pleading guilty to those charges, the man also acknowledged his complicity with the related actions of his wife, 28.

According to authorities, he helped his wife file an extended series of falsified income tax returns. These tax returns used the personal information of hundreds of unrelated persons. In total, the couple used over 400 stolen identities. Because they were used in the filing of federal tax returns, the crime fell under the jurisdiction of a federal court and the case was heard there.

The couple had tried to get more than $1.8 million in tax refund cash through filing the bogus returns. The United States Internal Revenue Service is said to have intercepted approximately half of that amount. Of course, the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the couple did get are subject to seizure by the IRS, since those funds were illicitly obtained.

Most of the identities used were from living persons, but some were from others who had recently died.

The man in the case was sentenced to five years for his part in the case. His wife was sentenced to twelve years. Three others were also charged in the case, though the status of their trials has not been made publicly available.

Tax crimes are serious offenses. Anyone accused of one should immediately secure legal advice from an attorney with experience in such cases. They need to be represented well when making their case in court.


Source: 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Florida man gets three years in tax fraud scheme at sentencing in St. Louis" Robert Patrick, Nov. 26, 2013

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