Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
IRS taxes and a fraud story
Old 01-19-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 55
IRS taxes and a fraud story

My girlfriend of about 6 months is a Kenya runner studying in the US on an athletic scholarship. She just told me last night a sad story that I think something needs to be done about. Another Kenya runner insisted that she let him do her 2009 taxes for her. My girlfriend is kind of a push over and ended up letting this guy prepare her taxes for her in April of 2010. She started getting worried when she never recieved her check in the mail, along with other bogus stories in regard to this whole ordeal. It turns out this man forged her signature on her tax form and filed the taxes. She had no idea how much she was even supposed to get back. The man finally transfered her $400, and said that was it.

She called the IRS and got a print out of the transcript. From the earnings she made and tax credits for her schooling, she was supposed to get $1,900 back. Turns out this man lied to her and stole most of her money.

From what I know:
She never signed her tax form
She never entered a pin on an online vender for preparing taxes
She was never told how much she was supposed to get back, until she called the IRS
She just made a mistake and gave her information to another person

The question I have, and I'm not sure if I will get much help from this type of forum, is what she should do. I think she should do something else other than just let it slide.

Should she be contacting the IRS? Should she call the police and make a report? Small claims court?

The man who did this to her is from Kenya, used to run on a scholariship, but now just goes to school. Obviously on a college visa, im sure. They both used to run together at a university in Kansas. My girlfriend still lives in Kansas and he now goes to school in Indiana.

Thanks if anyone has any input.
__________________

__________________
Tykimeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-19-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
I'd tell her to start with the IRS local office. It is a gross understatement to say that they take a very dim view of forgery on tax returns and refund checks.

That said, understand that even compared to many government agencies, the pace of the IRS can be glacial.

Also understand that unless the guy flees the country, his financial future looks very bleak indeed. But it will take a while for the effects to kick in. The wheels of government grind slowly. But often they are also inevitable and inexorable.

Tell her not to let this drop but also do not expect rapid results.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2011, 05:32 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
My immediate concern would not be the taxes but identity theft. The guy has all he needs to get a loan, credit cards etc. Also, how did you GF get her tax info so fast in Kenya?
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 55
Walt, thanks for the advice, and I will find the local IRS office.

Dex,

She is an international student studying in the US. She hasn't been home for over 3 years. Yes, the guy has all her information and shes at risk. Trust me, I gave her a good speech last night about how irresponsible she was for doing all this. She worked at a nursing home here in the US and also gets money refunded for school. She said she had W-2's for the nursing home and also taxable income for her schooling. Shes in the process of finding them now.

Thanks for the replies guys
__________________
Tykimeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 224
She is the victim of a crime. She should report the crime to the police in the locale where it took place. She should also contact the IRS and report the matter to them as well. Make sure she documents all her contacts with law enforcement and the IRS for future issues that might come up.

Best of luck,

Rich
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2011, 09:58 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 55
Thanks for your input Rich.

Would you suggest we contact the police now and file the report, or wait until we contact the IRS?
__________________
Tykimeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2011, 10:06 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 224
You'll be dealing with two separate agencies/governmental entities. Contact the police first only because it will probably be simpler and take less time. I'm not sure of the protocols you'll be dealing with in your part of the country, but her going in to report the crime might only result in some officer or clerk taking down the information. If possible she should get a copy of her police report. If that is not possible at least document the fact as to the time, date and location she reported this to the local police.

I don't know how the IRS will deal with this matter. Just finding someone at an IRS site to take the information might well be a chore. Do it none the less.

Now that this man has all her financial information he may well commit additional crimes using her identity.

This is going to be a problem and tough to straighten out I'm afraid.

Rich
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
You can find the local IRS office here:

Contact My Local Office

I suggest do this sooner rather than later. Things will become progressively busier there between now and April 15 and it will be harder to get time with someone.

She will get the refund she is owed (whoever cashed the check/accepted the EFT transfer will eat the loss). It just will take somewhere between six and twelve months.

Also second Rich on making the police report, but depending on circumstances/jurisdictional issues they may or may not be able to follow up on it.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,648
Oh wow.! You are going to need every ounce of proof you can find.
Initially, you may have a he/said - she/said situation until you have the physical proof.
Initially both parties may have equal rights. The IRS may not take either side until the proof speaks for itself.

Can she email "this guy" now and ask some questions of him or make some statements where he might possibly put something in writing (like maybe asking for her return from last year or copies of the W2s) ? He just might in some way put something in writing that speaks to his involvement.

Was the refund check mailed or was it a wire transfer transaction? The IRS should be able to tell you what account number was used for the wire. (ETF, ACH...etc.).
Does she have a record of the $400 he sent her? What was that method of payment from him? (helps to prove he was involved).

Any data or proof you can physically take the IRS or police will help expedite.
__________________
sheehs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 05:49 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
So weird--I googled "kenya runner tax fraud" and got this story (which happens to be a case in Kansas City involving nursing home residents being defrauded, even though I didn't use Kansas City or nursing home as a search term). Is the guy who stole her refund named here?

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/news...xander.ind.htm
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
I would go to the police first.
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 06:28 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
You can find the local IRS office here:

Contact My Local Office

I suggest do this sooner rather than later. Things will become progressively busier there between now and April 15 and it will be harder to get time with someone.

She will get the refund she is owed (whoever cashed the check/accepted the EFT transfer will eat the loss). It just will take somewhere between six and twelve months.

Also second Rich on making the police report, but depending on circumstances/jurisdictional issues they may or may not be able to follow up on it.

Walt knows what he is talking about.

Go to the IRS so that she can file her returns and claim her refund.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 08:43 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,422
I don't understand why this wouldn't go directly to the police. This is fraud, mail fraud, and who knows what else. As far as the IRS, seems like she could just file her taxes, then when they say she's already filed she can tell them she hasn't, she never signed the one they have, and they need to give her her money and if they want to they can go after the crook. He would have had to cashed a check made out to her, or at least put his account information on the return for a direct deposit. If this isn't a crime that the police should be involved in, I don't know what would be. No different than if he stole mail out of her mailbox and cashed the check.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 10:07 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 224
Harley wrote (in part):

"I don't understand why this wouldn't go directly to the police. This is fraud, mail fraud, and who knows what else. .... If this isn't a crime that the police should be involved in, I don't know what would be."

Speaking as a retired chief of a small police department (13 year-round full time officers, 18 or so during the tourist season), the problem is not a lack of desire on the part of a small department (if that is who she will be dealing with, I'm not sure as to the town's size where the crime was committed) but lack of resources to really do a credible investigation. In a dept of my size the average number of officers working a given shift was two (there are four shifts in a day: midnights, days, evenings and day off. Indeed, it took over five officers to be employed in order to ensure a single officer was available to work each shift seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year), although that varied from a single officer on duty to as many as three working a single shift. I had a lone officer as my "detective," a bright and enthusiastic young man who I had to keep in uniform as we didn't have enough officers for a plain-clothes, full-time detective.

Then there is the problem of getting the district attorneys office interested in such a case. Forget the federal authorities. I was once told that if a crime didn't reach the $50,000 dollar level then federal prosecutors weren't interested in pursuing the matter (I was the investigating detective, it was in NYC, and I got nowhere with the case despite trying hard to get others interested).

Sorry for the negative sounding response, but these are the facts as I've experienced them.

Rich
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 08:09 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Harley wrote (in part):

"I don't understand why this wouldn't go directly to the police. This is fraud, mail fraud, and who knows what else. .... If this isn't a crime that the police should be involved in, I don't know what would be."
....

Sorry for the negative sounding response, but these are the facts as I've experienced them.

Rich
Rich, I understand the local police would not have the resources to track this down (and solve it in 30 minutes like on TV ), but still, isn't it a good idea to report it, just to document it?

If my garage is broken into and they steal some tools, I'd report it but would not expect much follow up from my local police. It just seems like the thing to do regardless of expected results.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 09:40 AM   #16
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Harley wrote (in part):

"I don't understand why this wouldn't go directly to the police. This is fraud, mail fraud, and who knows what else. .... If this isn't a crime that the police should be involved in, I don't know what would be."

Speaking as a retired chief of a small police department (13 year-round full time officers, 18 or so during the tourist season), the problem is not a lack of desire on the part of a small department (if that is who she will be dealing with, I'm not sure as to the town's size where the crime was committed) but lack of resources to really do a credible investigation. In a dept of my size the average number of officers working a given shift was two (there are four shifts in a day: midnights, days, evenings and day off. Indeed, it took over five officers to be employed in order to ensure a single officer was available to work each shift seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year), although that varied from a single officer on duty to as many as three working a single shift. I had a lone officer as my "detective," a bright and enthusiastic young man who I had to keep in uniform as we didn't have enough officers for a plain-clothes, full-time detective.

Then there is the problem of getting the district attorneys office interested in such a case. Forget the federal authorities. I was once told that if a crime didn't reach the $50,000 dollar level then federal prosecutors weren't interested in pursuing the matter (I was the investigating detective, it was in NYC, and I got nowhere with the case despite trying hard to get others interested).

Sorry for the negative sounding response, but these are the facts as I've experienced them.

Rich
So, all the folks who say
That crime just doesn't pay
just need to look the other way
if you keep it under 50K?

Well you just made my day,
I think it's safe to say.
'cause only an underperforming 401K
is keeping my ER at bay...

So, if crime does truly pay,
(just keep it small, you say..)
I'll soon be be on my way
to ER "play all day."

See, I learned on ER-org (heh-heh-heh)
that you can live really well on 50K!
(And if it's take-home tax-free pay-
that beats 4% SWR all day!

Whaddya you all say?
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
So, all the folks who say
That crime just doesn't pay
just need to look the other way
if you keep it under 50K?

Well you just made my day,
I think it's safe to say.
'cause only an underperforming 401K
is keeping my ER at bay...

So, if crime does truly pay,
(just keep it small, you say..)
I'll soon be be on my way
to a ER "play all day."

See, I learned on ER-org (heh-heh-heh)
that you can live really well on 50K!
(And if it's take-home tax-free pay-
that beats 4% SWR all day!

Whaddya you all say?
I say you need to get a life!
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 03:39 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 224
ERD50, as I wrote at the start of this thread;

"You'll be dealing with two separate agencies/governmental entities. Contact the police first only because it will probably be simpler and take less time."

The victim should certainly make out a police report. I was simply pointing out that the likelihood of a serious investigation being conducted is low. Hope I'm wrong.

Rich
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
ERD50, as I wrote at the start of this thread;

"You'll be dealing with two separate agencies/governmental entities. Contact the police first only because it will probably be simpler and take less time."

The victim should certainly make out a police report. I was simply pointing out that the likelihood of a serious investigation being conducted is low. Hope I'm wrong.

Rich
I think you are wrong... unless of course there are a lot of people report him...


As an example... there was a contractor who did a lot of work on my sisters house... at the end, he had signed up work with a few of the neighbors as he had done a great job on what he had finished on my sisters house...

But he was taking his time to get the granite for her bathroom... and then the wood floors he laid down buckled badly... he was trying to get something from the manufacturer etc... but it was his fault and he knew it.. he was now tearing out stuff a few houses down... but my sister got tired of his excuses and called the police... their polite answer was 'it is a civil matter'...

Then he left the house down the street in shambles... along with $10K of money... the police came and said the same thing 'it is a civil matter'... then a third and fourth homeowner reported that he took downpayment money and vanished... still a civil matter... I think it was when either the 5th or 6th victim reported him that they decided it was now criminal...

They have not done anything about it... he either moved to Florida or back to Cuba... nobody is sure... but there is a criminal case somewhere to be pulled out if he does show back up...

The people are still out the money... and my sister had to pay twice for the wood floors and her bathroom counter... but in the end she is happy.... not so some of the others who lost $10K or more...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #20
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I don't understand why this wouldn't go directly to the police. This is fraud, mail fraud, and who knows what else. ...

....No different than if he stole mail out of her mailbox and cashed the check.
This is where the arcane jurisdictional issues come into play. There are at least two forgeries involved, one for the tax return itself and possibly another for a paper check. Each may have occurred in separate jurisdictions. I once investigated a real estate fraud involving property in another state, but because the money changed hands in my jurisdiction, that's where the crime actually occurred.

So if he completed the tax return in one county (or state) and mailed it from another, then cashed the refund check in yet a third, then only the second two jurisdictions would have any grounds to investigate/prosecute because that's where the documents were "uttered" (presented for processing/payment).

So while working in the Fraud Section I did handle cases involving forged endorsement IRS refund checks but in those cases the ultimate victim was the local bank that accepted the check because that bank was the entity who ultimately took the financial loss.

So your friend will eventually "be made whole" but that will start with reporting the event to the IRS.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Insurance Fraud? HsiaoChu FIRE and Money 17 04-15-2010 04:54 PM
Mortgage Fraud Westernskies Other topics 20 06-05-2009 05:52 AM
Medicare self-fraud FinallyRetired Health and Early Retirement 41 03-08-2009 09:33 PM
local taxes and the IRS WM FIRE and Money 5 12-15-2007 11:35 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:00 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.