Defending a Tax Fraud Case
Florida is known for many things, from its beaches to its warm climate, but now the sunshine state can add tax fraud leader to the list. According to an IRS Criminal Investigation Task Force, tax fraud in Tampa alone is costing the United States Treasury Department more than $5 billion each year. One police informant is facing charges for her alleged participation in a widespread tax fraud scheme. The woman reportedly pleaded guilty to two counts of federal tax fraud charges, stemming from stolen refunds totaling more than $30,000.
According to the article, the informant signed a plea agreement that outlined the details of the operation. The identities of the victims were allegedly obtained through several genealogy websites, as well as several law enforcement databases. The latter resource has federal authorities looking at a number of accomplices, including a former Tampa Bay detective..
TampaBay.com reports that the detective is under investigation for allegedly providing third parties with access to confidential victim information for the purpose of committing tax fraud. According to reports, the identities of more than 4,000 individuals were compromised, resulting in the filing of fraudulent tax returns. The detective allegedly accessed each of these names at various times between 2010 and 2012. In addition, 21 of the fraud victims were allegedly involved in cases investigated by the detective or his squad.
In one specific instance, law enforcement claims that the former deputy worked on a case involving a deceased male. Shortly thereafter, another officer under investigation allegedly ran the decedent’s name five times through the state Driver and Vehicle Information Database. In a later search of the informant’s home, law enforcement allegedly found the deceased man’s name, date of birth and social security number on a piece of paper. According to reports, the informant allegedly received the false IRS refunds on prepaid cards that were in her name and sent to a home she once occupied.
What is Tax Fraud?
Tax fraud is a serious federal matter. Maximum sentences can include up to five years imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines for each individual offense.
Some common forms of tax fraud include:
- Intentionally underreporting your income;
- Claiming fraudulent deductions;
- Intentionally hiding assets;
- Claiming a refund under someone else’s name and or Social Security number; and
- Intentionally refusing to file a tax return.
Tax fraud cases can take a significant amount of time to conclude. The government’s investigation may continue for more than a year before any formal charges are sought and the case reaches a court. Don’t wait for charges before contacting an lawyer to assist with your case. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance throughout the investigation procedure and possibly keep the case from progressing to a court action.
If you are facing charges of tax fraud, contact the Miami lawyers of Ratzan & Faccidomo. Our capable lawyers have a proven track record of success for their clients. Call today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation about the merits of your case.