The Cost of Cheating with Taxes

On September 25, 2015, Keisha Lanier, leader of a large-scale identity tax refund fraud (SIRF) conspiracy, was sentenced to 180 months in prison plus three years of supervised release after she was found guilty of tax refund fraud amounting to $24 million.

Keisha, with the eight others who were convicted with her, filed at least 9,000 false federal income tax returns (between January 2011 and December 2013) for $24 million in fraudulent tax refunds claims. She was also ordered by the court to forfeit more than $5.8 million of the close to $10 million that the IRS paid out tom her.

In June of the same year, a Tampa couple was also sentenced after being convicted of massive ID theft tax fraud scheme. The husband, James Lee, was sentenced to 324 months or 27 years in prison plus five years of supervised release, while his wife Eneshia was sentenced to 138 months in prison and three years of supervised release

The couple pleaded guilty to filing false tax return claims amounting to $3 million in refunds. Besides the false claims, the couple also pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

From October. 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015 (the government financial year), the IRS initiated 776 investigations into tax-related identity theft and obtained 774 jail sentences through the help of the IRS Criminal Investigation unit.

The IRS’ Criminal Investigation has one of the highest conviction rates among all of federal law enforcement agencies. ID theft tax fraud scheme, however, is not the only problem the IRS faces. It also suffers heavy losses due to tax evasion. The latest estimates have shown, in fact, that between 2008 and 2010, the federal government lost an average of $458 billion per year.

According to a Milwaukee tax fraud lawyer, the possible consequence of a Tax Fraud & Evasion conviction are prison time and severe fines, besides the potential to change just about every aspect of your life. Though the criminal process can be frightening, there is still the opportunity of facing the charges against you and defend your rights to protect your future with help from a highly-skilled criminal defense attorney.

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