All Articles Tagged "tax fraud"
There are certain scenarios that play over and over again in celebrity news, and one of those is he case of the celebrity who refuses to pay taxes, and then, who goes to jail for said violation.
Ja Rule is the latest celebrity to get prison time for failing to pay taxes. He was sentenced to 28 months in prison in a New Jersey courtroom for failing to file income tax returns over five years.
Ja Rule, real name Jeffrey Atkins, lamented to the judge: “I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal,” he said minutes before being sentenced, the Associated Press reported. “I was a young man who made a lot of money – I’m getting a little choked up – I didn’t know how to deal with these finances, and I didn’t have people to guide me, so I made mistakes.”
Ja Rule’s apology might’ve meant something in 1995, but in the current time of music when musicians are empowered as big business machines and in a time when they have evolved to become the decision makers in the music industry, it makes no sense that Rule didn’t know how to get help with his finances. He had enough help to rule the charts and negotiate a film career yet he couldn’t get any help in hiring a lawyer? Rule just may have taken the extra care to be careless in this situation.
Alongside this sentencing, Rule is also serving time for criminal weapon possession, for which he was arrested in 2007.
(AJC) — Before Jesus Trejo could file his 2010 tax return, he got a bill last month from the IRS for $3,434. “Of course I was unhappy,” the Norcross man said. “I’ve never had a problem with my taxes before.” Trejo learned that his Social Security number had been stolen, not only preventing him from completing his tax return and claiming a possible refund but putting him in debt. “This happens all over the world,” Trejo, 34, said. “But I never thought it would happen to me.” It is happening more and more often. The number of criminal investigations initiated by the IRS and the Georgia Department of Revenue has soared in the past year, increasing by nearly 200 federal cases and more than 20,000 state-wide. “It’s becoming very prevalent,” said Staci Guest, director of the state revenue department’s Office of Special Investigations. Revenue Department officials detected more than 52,000 fraudulent tax returns in Georgia in the 2010 tax season, halting roughly $41 million in refunds. In 2009, the department found nearly 29,000 cases worth $40 million.
(AJC) — Who better to scam the IRS than a bunch of criminals in Georgia’s prisons with plenty of time on their hands? In fact, more than 7,000 Georgia inmates filed fraudulent tax returns in 2009, receiving refunds to which they were not entitled. Those refunds totaled nearly $3.6 million, according to USA Today, and gave the Peach State the dubious distinction of being No. 2, behind only Florida, in the number of fraudulent returns filed by prisoners.
In some Georgia prisons, more than 300 inmates successfully fleeced the IRS in 2009, according to a U.S. Treasury Department audit. Nationwide, nearly 45,000 prisoners in municipal, county, state and federal detention facilities took in $39.1 million of tax refunds they shouldn’t have gotten, the audit revealed. In some cases, inmates received as much as $50,000 in refunds by claiming tax credits for alternative-fuel vehicles they didn’t own.
“The IRS takes prisoner fraud seriously,” IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said Wednesday. “We stopped the vast majority of prisoner refunds fraud. We give special scrutiny to prisoner returns.” In 2009, Eldridge said the IRS caught 87 percent of prisoner fraud, keeping $256 million in government coffers. Some prisoners file legitimate tax returns, she said. Nevertheless, the fraudulent returns, which have grown dramatically since 2004, led Georgia tax watchers to question what the state is doing to prevent abuse.