Friday, December 28, 2012

"First Lady" Of Tax Fraud

If you were (a) living in Tampa Bay (b) driving a $90,000 car you paid cash for with (c) no visible means of support, would you post the following on Facebook:

“I’m Rashia, the queen of IRS tax fraud. … I’m a millionaire for the record. So if you think that indicting me will be easy, it won’t. I promise you. I won’t do no time, dumb b------.”

Her name is Rashia Tocara Wilson, and it is doubtful that she has ever been the brightest bulb in the room.

According to investigators, Wilson and two men have been under suspicion since 2010, when they were at a motel involved in a drug sting. The police noticed a significant decline in drug-dealing activity thereafter and speculated that many of those involved switched to the easier and more profitable business of tax fraud. 

There was evidence of ID and tax fraud uncovered during the raid. So much so, in fact, that local authorities launched a coordinated year-long effort with federal authorities nicknamed “Operation Rainmaker" for the cash raining down on the suspects. Since the motel raid, Tampa police continued investigating and gathering evidence on the three.

The tax fraud is not particularly complex.  The crook obtains someone's name, Social Security number and date of birth. After making sure that no one has filed a tax return under the social security number, the crook files online using software such as Turbo Tax. The crook obtains a tax refund, perhaps on a prepaid debit card.

Tampa has been deemed the “worst in the nation” for tax refund fraud. Interestingly, Rashia and the two others are considered the “pioneers” of tax fraud in Tampa. Major Ken Morman of the Tampa Police Department stated:

We believe that they are the ones that organized and recruited, they were the pioneers that actually set in the process everyone who is involved in this phenomenon. The vast majority of the people we've interviewed have been linked back to them one way or another.

These are the organizers.  These were the ones that actually structured and directed everybody when this phenomenon started.  

They have a Medicare card in their name.  They have a food stamp card in their name.  And they have $23,000 in cash from the stolen and fraudulent income tax in other's names."  

Wilson and her boyfriend were indicted conspiring to steal more than $1.1 million by filing fraudulent tax returns.

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