As the IRS and other federal authorities crack down, more people are being charged with stolen identity tax fraud. Recently ID thieves allegedly targeted prison inmates, architects and others, while one man went on the lam to avoid facing his charges.
Florida Prison Guard Accused of Tax Fraud
A correctional officer in Florida has been charged with using prisoner identities to file false tax claims, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Jerry St. Fleur was fired from the Zephyrhills Correctional Institution, where he has worked since 2007, after authorities discovered he allegedly filed five claims for $14,274 using inmates' personal information.
St. Fleur is the third corrections officer in the state to face federal charges recently, the Tampa Tribune reports.
Ohio Man on the Run After Tax Fraud Charges
Federal authorities are searching for a man who fled after being charged with using stolen identities to commit tax fraud, WLWT reports.
James Jamison allegedly used stolen information to file false tax refunds and deposit them into bogus bank accounts in the victims names so he could withdraw the money. Additionally, he is accused of filing false applications for government benefits and committing check fraud at banks.
He faces two years for each count of aggravated identity theft as well as decades in prison and possibly more than $1 million in fines for wire fraud, bank fraud, using an unauthorized access device and theft of government money.
Group of Architects Victims of ID Theft Tax Scheme
About 40 Vermont architects discovered they were victims of a stolen identity tax scheme, Times Argus reports.
Dozens of architects notified the American Institute of Architects that they were unable to file tax returns because false claims had already been filed using their identities.
Many doctors have been hit by the same type of scheme recently. Authorities are unsure how the architects' identities were stolen and so far their personal information has not been used in another fraudulent manner, such as to open credit accounts or take out loans.
Oregon Woman Arrested for $1M in False Claims
An Oregon woman has been charged with claiming more than $1 million in false tax returns, according to The Oregonian.
Authorities say Teresa Lorraine Saunders filed as many as 173 fraudulent tax returns through her company, Diversity Business Group. She allegedly charged customers an exorbitant filing fee and then used their returns to falsely claim tax credits.