The IRS’s list of tax cheats and scoundrels

The IRS-CI unit has cracked down on thousands of tax cheats, fraudsters, money launderers and identity thieves, according to its 2015 annual report. And it managed to get about 3,000 convictions, many with stiff prison sentences and steep court-ordered restitution payments.

So who did they grab? Petty criminals and fraudsters, and of course seemingly upstanding professionals who harmed others to enrich themselves. The even caught people who simply did not want to pay what they owed and went to great lengths to avoid doing so.

Here’s just a sampling from the IRS report:

The doctor who poisoned patients for profit

There was a Detroit-area hematologist-oncologist who owned a cancer treatment clinic and diagnostic testing facility. He “prescribed and administered unnecessary aggressive chemotherapy, cancer treatments, intravenous iron and other infusion therapies to 553 individual patients in order to increase his billings to Medicare and other insurance companies.”

In each of these cases, he either gave a bogus cancer diagnosis to a healthy patient or prescribed the wrong treatment for the cancer a patient had, according to the Detroit News.

The doctor pleaded guilty to health care fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to pay or get kickbacks. He was sentenced to 540 months in prison and ordered to pay $17.6 million in total.

The “Pill Mill” Operator who sold Oxycodone

A mother and daughter team were illegally distributing prescription drugs through various pain clinics operated by the daughter. Often the controlled substances, specifically Oxycodone pills — were not given for medical purposes but for “recreational purposes”.

They evaded reporting requirements on their business transactions also and obstructed the IRS.

The mother, who was convicted, was sentenced to 280 months in prison. The daughter, who pleaded guilty, got 528 months, and was ordered to forfeit over $2.7 million.

Two other accomplices pleaded guilty to conspiring and were given prison sentences of around 60 months to 156 months, respectively, and had to forfeit more than $500,000 between them.

The fraudster couple who stole 7,000 identities

A couple in Tampa, Florida along with co-conspirators, filed false tax returns and claimed nearly $3 million in fraudulent refunds using stolen names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of people in the United States. Many of the names had been obtained from stolen medical records.

Those records were taken from health care facilities, a medical billing company and various court records. In addition, the couple assumed the identities of some of the dead people, whose names were taken from genealogy Web sites.

The husband was sentenced to 324 months in prison and ordered to pay $3.6 million. The wife got 138 months and also had to pay $3.6 million.

The payroll supervisor who paid himself rather than the IRS

A Florida man employed as a payroll supervisor at two companies that operated hospital facilities nationwide told his employers that a company he had set up would handle the payment of all their federal, state and local payroll taxes insuring that they were paid to the appropriate government agencies.

He however did not do that. Instead he kept the money all for himself and financed a charter airline company. In the end over he made a $21 million underpayment to tax authorities.

His actions also led to hospital layoffs and undercut the maintenance of 17 acute care hospitals, among other things.

He was sentenced to 240 months in prison and was ordered to pay $21.4 million.

To learn more about others that were caught, see the link above.


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