Thursday, September 08, 2011

Don't Use SSNs to Mess with the IRS!

LONG before anyone had ever heard of Barack Obama, rumors of voter fraud in Chicago have run rampant. Examples of such rumors include voter registration drives at cemetaries and sayings such as "If you only voted twice, you are a slacker." Two tax preparers, one in NYC and one in Southern California tried their own variation on "Chicago" voting tactics--but their frauds found deep trouble with the Internal Revenue Service instead. Davis Johnson of the Bronx was sentenced to 63 months (over five years) in prison for such acts as including Social Security Numbers of dead children to inflate the number of exemptions claimed by clients. Meanwhile, Norma Cornell pleaded guilty to several felony counts of claiming 20 more children as dependents than what she actually had. Cornell also filed fraudulent tax returns for other family members and clients and potentially could recieve over 100 years of prison sentences for her frauds.

While Johnson and Cornell are extreme examples, either misstating number of dependents or falsely using a SSN of a deceased person to inflate exemptions is a comparatively easy return flaw for the IRS to catch. As the old saying goes: "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."


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12:46 PM  

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