When Customer Service Turns into Identity Theft and Tax Fraud

tax fraudThe Internal Revenue Service does not have to look hard to find tax fraud.  Recently another former IRS employee pled guilty to tax fraud and identity theft.


We talked earlier about Alena Aleykina, a former IRS criminal investigations officer, who faces up to 40 or more years in prison when she came out on the wrong end of several charges of tax crime.  In August, a former IRS employee, Stephanie Parker, admitted aggravated identity theft related to fraudulent tax refunds.  The circumstances around her crimes are galling—as an IRS customer service representative, she illegally profited from people who called the IRS for help.


Tax questions of almost any kind can quickly become complicated.  Our firm works on the most complex tax issues—those involving tax schemes, fraud, unwitting tax evasion and a host of other tax-related issues.  We understand the importance of providing trusted, accurate answers and solutions to our clients who may be facing an IRS audit, charges of tax crime, or some other tax controversy.


Consumers calling the IRS are trying to understand important tax regulations and their responsibilities under those laws.  Ms. Parker, as a service rep, handled inquiries from the public.  When she helped customers, she also helped herself to their social security numbers.


According to the allegations against Ms. Parker, she used personal information gleaned from phone calls to file fraudulent tax returns in the names of the individuals she had assisted. Ms. Parker then directed the refunds due from the false tax returns be deposited into bank accounts set up and managed by her friends.  Together they split the proceeds, with some of the ill-gotten gains making their way into her personal bank account.


While it is another story of a good employee gone bad, there is more to understand from these and other cases like them.   It is particularly egregious when public servants flagrantly take advantage of members of the public that they are hired to serve. In this case, Ms. Parker faces a mandatory two year prison sentence in addition to probation, restitution, and fines.


Consumers must also understand that, while unusual, the professionals they rely upon to assist them with financial and tax questions, whether they be public or private experts, could use information provided in confidence to enrich their own bank accounts.


For wrong-doers themselves, it is usually difficult to know what to do when the realization arrives that there is no way out of a tax or financial scheme.  In these situations, the answer is always to speak with a skilled tax lawyer.


Attorneys experienced with criminal tax charges can often mitigate the consequences of criminal allegations.  While an IRS tax lawyer can help at any stage of an IRS criminal investigation, there is often more room to negotiate before a bad situation becomes a criminal tax matter.


Experienced tax lawyers serving local, national, and international tax clients


In Cleveland, Chicago, and internationally, Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC provides decisive, confidential legal help if you face an audit, payroll tax issue, foreign bank account inquiry, or other problem.  Contact us or call 800-579-0997.


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