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Florida man filed 745 tax returns in 4 years, collecting $235K in bogus refunds — ‘I found a flaw in your system, and I took advantage of it’

Most individuals dread having to file their taxes, however not Damian Barrett, authorities say.

Over a four-year interval, the Florida man filed 745 tax returns in 19 completely different states, in line with the IRS. The payoff: $235,000 in tax refunds he wasn’t entitled to.

Barrett, 40, who pleaded responsible in July to mail fraud, id theft and submitting false tax returns, was sentenced this week to 4 ½ years in federal jail, in line with prosecutors in Oregon, the place he had filed 348 returns alone.

“I discovered a flaw in your system, and I took benefit of it,” Barrett was quoted in court docket paperwork as telling investigators.

A message left with Barrett’s legal professional wasn’t instantly returned.

Prosecutors say Barrett ran two tax preparation companies in Homestead, Fla. — one respectable, known as Max Tax Consultants, LLC, and the opposite, Winngate Tax Companies, LLC, not.

From January 2015 till December 2018, prosecutors say Barrett took private data together with full names, Social Safety numbers and employer identification numbers from purchasers of his respectable enterprise, and used them to file phony returns via his second firm.

Prosecutors say Barrett would steer refunds into dozens of financial institution accounts he managed — 70 of which he had opened within the names of his unwitting purchasers.

“The character and circumstances of the offense present that the success of the defendant’s scheme was by design. It was well-researched, deliberate, and executed,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Executing the fraud scheme seems to have been the defendant’s day-to-day job.”

In all, prosecutors say Barrett filed 745 tax returns requesting round $900,000 in refunds. Collectively, he was granted $235,000 in refunds earlier than he was caught. 

“Mr. Barrett used his specialised information as a tax preparer to acquire false refunds at the price of trustworthy taxpayers all around the United States. As we speak’s sentence is a victory for these of us who’ve been victims of a complicated tax refund scheme,” mentioned IRS Felony Investigation Particular Agent in Cost Bret Kressin.

Along with his fraud scheme, Barrett additionally deliberately excluded $21,000 in earnings from his personal tax returns in 2016 after which didn’t file taxes in any respect in 2017, prosecutors mentioned..

Barrett has additionally been ordered to pay $234,000 in restitution to the departments of income in 11 states and $74,000 to the IRS.

Take a look at MarketWatch’s new podcast, “Best New Ideas in Money,” hosted by MarketWatch editor-in-chief Jeremy Olshan and economist Stephanie Kelton.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-found-a-flaw-in-your-system-and-i-took-advantage-of-it-florida-man-filed-745-tax-returns-in-4-years-collecting-235k-in-bogus-refunds-11633540003?rss=1&siteid=rss | Florida man filed 745 tax returns in 4 years, accumulating $235K in bogus refunds — ‘I discovered a flaw in your system, and I took benefit of it’

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