The IRS just issued its Criminal Investigation Annual Report. Budget constraints caused the staffing of Special Agents to drop to the lowest numbers in recent history, but 2013 included a 12.5 percent increase in investigations initiated and a nearly 18 percent gain in prosecution recommendations.
Specifically, CI initiated 5,314 cases and recommended 4,364 cases for prosecution. Clearly the IRS is on the move.
The report also mentioned some of the big “wins” for the government.
One that caught my eye was the case involving Rashia Wilson – the self-proclaimed “First Lady of Tax Fraud.”
The Department Of Justice press release stated that from at least April 2009 through their arrests in September 2012, Rashia Wilson and her co-conspirator, Maurice J. Larry, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by negotiating fraudulently obtained tax refunds. They did so by receiving U.S. Treasury checks and prepaid debit cards that were loaded with proceeds derived from filing false and fraudulent federal income tax returns in other persons’ names, without those persons’ permission or knowledge.
Wilson and Larry filed these false and fraudulent federal income tax returns from multiple locations, including Wilson’s residence and hotels in the Tampa area. Wilson, Larry, and others then used these fraudulently obtained tax refunds to make hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of retail purchases, to purchase money orders, and to withdraw cash.
Ms. Wilson was not shy about her crimes. She lived an opulent lifestyle with a $90,000 Audi (bought with a money order) and a $30,000 birthday party for her one-year-old child.
She apparently also posted her exploits on Facebook with this picture and a post saying “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—”
Ms. Wilson did not get away with it and is now spending 21 years in federal prison.