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Inmates Bilk Millions From US Taxpayers

From a suddenly stirred CNN:

Inmates bilk Uncle Sam for millions

By CNN’s Jennifer Rizzo and John Zarrella

April 15, 2010

Key West, Florida (CNN) – … Investigators say Monroe County jail inmates in Key West had been filing false tax return forms for jobs they never had as far back as 2004, and getting thousands of dollars a pop in refund checks.

Using a formula that kept their refunds to amounts under $5,000 per claim, inmates thought they would fly under the radar, investigators say. And they did for years, passing around cheat sheets that showed line by line how to fill out the complicated forms.

The scam however is not a local gig. Investigators and federal officials say it has been going on for decades in state and federal prisons around the country

So this has been going on for years all across the country, and yet we only hear such stories from our watchdog media on April 15th?

And notice that even then CNN cannot be bothered to give any estimate of the amount of money being currently stolen from US taxpayers.

Here’s how it allegedly worked: using names of defunct or made up businesses as places of work and a master cheat sheet for salary and other numerical information, inmates filled out 4852 tax forms — the ones you use if your employer didn’t provide you with a W-2.

The inmates sent the forms in and the IRS then issued refund checks, in some cases sending them directly to the county jail. But inmates didn’t just fill out the forms for themselves. For a $500 fee ringleaders at the prison filled out refund requests for other inmates, promising they would each get a return of about $4,500.

You see, our income tax forms are too hard to figure out even for people with all the time in the world.

Some of the prisoners, homeless before their arrests, were unaware of the scam. They gave away their social security numbers for honeybuns, a sweet pastry that inmates can buy in prison. The scammers would then file more refund requests under those social security numbers.

"Whenever someone is booked into the jail we have an intake process where we get all their vital statistics and my understanding is when they would go into the population then this group of people would do their own intake process," said John Ellsworth, one of the detectives who investigated the scheme and has since retired.

Ellsworth said the inmates would say things like "Give us your social security number" or ask "Did you work last year, did you file for taxes?"

The IRS declined to explain why it took so long to act in this case but says it has learned to identify fraudulent refund requests made by prisoners.

"It is not an easy process, particularly considering the fact that some inmates are entitled to tax refunds and that the prisoner population is not static," the IRS said in a statement.

More than $14 million in fraudulent refunds were issued to prisoners in 2004, according to testimony before a House subcommittee five years ago. But the IRS blocked more than $53 million in false claims from prisoners that year.

As the investigation at the Monroe County continues, at least one inmate is still allegedly filing falsified tax returns, according to jail officials, even though he knows about the investigation. And the IRS has been cutting him checks. Jail officials, however, say they have intercepted the checks.

Once again, we see the vaunted efficiency of the federal government on display.

Ellsworth says that as a taxpayer he is angry that billions of dollars may have been stolen from the American people over the years.

"I’m not optimistic unless somebody at the very top says make this stop that these losses aren’t going to continue," Ellsworth said.

Why would anyone “at the very top” make this stop? These inmates are an important part of Mr. Obama and the Democrats’ constituency.

In fact, the people at the very top are doing everything in their power to try to get these bravos the right to vote while they were still in stir. And they want them to perform voter registration and Census work, once they are out.

They don’t want to see such enterprising Democrats go to waste.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Inmates Bilk Millions From US Taxpayers”

  1. proreason says:

    Funny, I just naturally assumed that the word “inmates” in the headline meant congressmen.

    But anyway, we can all be confident that little missteps like this extremely rare tax snafu will never happen with nationalized health care.

    100% of the country will voluntarily comply with ObamyCare.

    Because having a pragmatic centrist black genius in office makes everybody feel really patriotic.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Corruption has always been the raison d’etre of Washington.

    But I remember there was a day before FDR when there were no income taxes. In fact, the History books I’ve read say the Founding Fathers forged this nation on the God-fearing idea that no man is entitled to the equity, fruits of the labors of or property of others.

    Then the Democrats effed us all.

    What amazes me is the vast majority of Americans argue about taxes and who pays what instead of marching on Washington and ripping every mother-loving one of them out of office and restoring the Republic to what we were … a Nation of Liberty.

    My email signature is …

    “Whoever Claims The Right To Redistribute The Wealth Of Others, Claims The Right To Treat Human Beings As Chattel.” Ayn Rand

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    Instead of a check, they should get a note congratulating them on an additional 10 years behind bars and a revocation of all privileges.

    If it wasn’t for the infamous social conditions of our penal institutions, I think many of us would rather be there enjoying the regular meals, free TV and the tax free tax refunds than struggling to stay employed or find work after losing it..

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