We are all familiar with identity theft. A person gets access to your Social Security number and uses it to open credit card accounts in your name. He charges thousands of dollars, and you have no idea what has happened until you receive the bill. However, as people have become aware of this type of identity theft and put additional types of security alerts on their credit reports, thieves have developed different types of schemes to steal identities and profit as a result.
Two New Jersey men have pled guilty to their participation in a $12 million scheme that stole the identities of victims in order to receive their tax refunds. They filed tax returns using the victims’ information and then diverted the refunds. The scheme is one of the biggest uncovered, with 14 people charged with filing some 8,000 tax returns seeking over $65 million in refunds. One of the men who pled guilty, Bennie Haynes, is a former US postal carrier who provided addresses from his route, and the other, Manuel Rodriguez, obtained the cash after the refunds were issued.
This type of identity theft is growing. The IRS provides information as to how to avoid being a victim, and what to do if you believe that your identity has been stolen. If your refund has been given to a thief, there are ways to get the money back, but it takes time and effort to prove your case to the IRS. You should contact an experienced New York attorney with experience in helping victims of financial crimes.
If you are worried about the security of your tax refund, call us. We may be able to help you avoid being a victim, or if you have already been victimized, we can help you recover the money you have lost and help you to bring the thief to justice.