By: Lorillia Brown-Phillips, The Money Mentor, Your Black World
Since the IRS open the tax filing season on January 17, 2012, the Justice Department’s Tax Division and local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices targeted 105 people in 23 states on indictments, arrests and the execution of search warrants involving the potential theft of thousands of identities and taxpayer refunds. Along with 939 criminal charges which included 69 indictments and information related to identity theft.
The identity theft crimes took place in money service businesses also called check cashing stores. Many check cashing stores are highly trafficked money outlets that service the unbanked and underbanked population. So far the IRS has made surprise compliance visits to 150 check cashing facilities throughout the US. According to the IRS.gov website the commissioner Doug Shulman said, “This unprecedented effort against identity theft sends a strong, unmistakable message to anyone considering participating in a refund fraud scheme this tax season.”
Currently, the IRS plans to perform compliance audits to more than 250 check-cashing operations across the country and will be looking for indicators of identity theft as part of the exam effort. The information from these audits and compliance visits will be used to assist continuing IRS investigations into refund fraud and identity theft. Some of the US states that are considered high-risk are Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
About the Author:
Lorillia Brown-Phillips is a Financial Advisor and Author of “Jump Start Your Credit: How to Negotiate and Settled Your Debts in 10 Steps”, she can be reached at http://www.brownassocllc.com