From time to time, we see headlines fill up with stories about someone who has managed to bilk the government out of millions, It makes you wonder – how many are pulling such stunts off and not getting caught? The answer is more than we’d like to imagine.
This time, we’re not talking about business firms that overcharge the government or those that provide inferior goods or fail to deliver services. We’re talking about deliberate efforts at fraud by individuals who know how to be very creative.
According to recent reports, Anthony Gosha from Alabama stole the identities of prisoners and used that information to file fraudulent tax returns thereby securing $19 million from the feds. This is what the report says:
“An Alabama man allegedly used stolen IDs from prisoners to file 7,000 tax returns with the IRS to obtain $19 million in fraudulent refunds. He also recruited U.S. Postal employees as part of the tax refund scheme. Anthony Gosha, also known as Boo Boo, and several co-conspirators were charged with conspiring to file fraudulent refund claims, mail and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.”
Imagine how much time you can spend filling out 7,000 fraudulent income tax returns. It’s clear that his regular pay check would have never brought him $19 million. The report continued:
“The scheme took place for during a three-year period between November 2010 and December 2013. Gosha and his co-conspirators directed the Internal Revenue Service to issue the refunds to prepaid debit cards, U.S. Treasury checks and financial institutions, the indictment stated. In addition, U.S. Postal Service employees were recruited to provide addresses on their mail routes so the fraudulent refund checks could be received.”
What kind of government would allow such a man to conduct this magnitude of fraud for three years before he got caught? However, the good news is that he’s finally in custody where he will wait for the trial. If he is convicted, maybe he can help his fellow prison inmates file their tax returns.