Woman Charged in Scheme to Steal Stimulus Payments, Tax Returns

Necromancy is the act of wielding the dead against the living. Necromancers have the power to manipulate souls or bodies and use them at their will. While necromancy is not real and is more the stuff of fantasy novels, there are some who actually perform necromancy for personal gain. For example, using the social security numbers of dead Americans to file fraudulent tax returns and gain access to stimulus payments that you’re not entitled to is using the dead to for personal gain and profit. 

Now, a 50-year-old Chicago woman is facing 10 counts of wire fraud, six counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of making false statements to the SBA, and one other count of possessing forged documents with the intent to defraud. However, she is facing zero counts of tax necromancy.

Tax Necromancy

There is no specific law against raising the dead for the purposes of defrauding the federal government, unfortunately, but the government has other ways to ensure that those who commit tax fraud pay for their crimes. In fact, the government really does not care how you commit the fraud. They are more interested in what types of programs were defrauded.

In the event that a disaster relief program is defrauded, the government can charge you individually with a 30-year sentence for each instance of fraud. It is unclear how many of those 10 counts of wire fraud are going to be aggravated by the fact that the funds were earmarked for disaster relief, but the government will certainly take those more seriously than the rest. Even without the disaster relief aggravating factor, the woman would face a maximum of 95 years (five years on each count). 

The Anatomy of Tax Necromancy

The woman is accused of filing false requests for death information by posing as a relative of the deceased. Once she had the death certificate, she would file tax returns and stimulus payment requests with the phony information which was mailed to a PO Box. It is unclear how much money she was able to defraud the federal government of, but the government usually greenlights requests first and then goes back and prosecutes fraud. So, they will give you enough rope to hang yourself with. The problem is, in the meantime, the plaintiff is making free money. Once they pull it off once, they think they will get away with it indefinitely. But when the money is dispersed, the government is not really looking very hard at where it is going. That is why it is possible to file income tax returns on behalf of dead Americans. So after the first try, you are feeling pretty good about your chances, and it is an easy way to make money.

Fast forward a year, and now the government is looking into fraudulent requests for stimulus funds. They note that several have been sent to the same PO BOX. They note that the PO BOX is related to one individual who is not a payee of any of the named recipients. They linger in the background and wait for you to try again. This way, they know how the fraud was perpetrated from top to bottom. That is when they move in. By the time you are standing in court with your attorney, all potential defenses to the crime have been eliminated.

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The government does not play fair when it comes to fraud. They will let you get away with it for a while, and then rain down sentences of 100+ years by stacking them individually. You need a serious criminal defense lawyer to fight in court. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin discussing defense strategy immediately.

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