Texas’s Attorney General has filed criminal charges against a Texas-based tax services company, accusing the firm of wrongfully falsifying tax returns for a number of elderly individuals after illegally securing their personal data. The Attorney’s General Office announced the alleged scam after receiving a report from an 80-year-old Texas woman who claims she defrauded by the company. The company faces charges of identity theft and tax fraud.
Because the company reportedly filled false tax returns on the victims’ behalf, those individuals may face investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. If the fraud had been successful, the victims would have likely been forced to pay the full amount of their fraudulent returns. Additionally, the IRS may target someone it believes has filed a false income tax return with an audit fraud case, making it necessary for such individuals to consult with a qualified attorney specializing in tax law.
According to the Attorney General, the tax company “launched an apparently well-orchestrated scheme to defraud the elderly,” allegedly hiring recruiters to attract vulnerable disability and Social Security recipients at locations like senior centers and churches. The Attorney General claims those recruiters told their victims they were eligible for free stimulus money. When those individuals expressed interest in this offer, the recruiters allegedly requested sensitive personal information from the victims.
Texas officials have filed an asset freeze and injunction in effort to prevent the suspects from making further use of the victims’ personal information. Many of those victims have reportedly been left in debt to the IRS following the scam.
The 80-year-old woman who first reported the scam said she became suspicious when several friends described having been promised as much as $600 in federal stimulus money. She filed a report with local police and made an effort to spread her concern to other elderly citizens in her community and throughout East Texas.
Source: KTRE, “Texas AG charges E. Texas tax company with tax fraud, ID theft,” Gary Bass, Jan. 10, 2013