It took a little time, but the IRS eventually realized it had a problem after it issued a refund check for $980,000 to a Florida man who’d claimed only about $18,000 in income for the 2016 tax year.
A federal forfeiture complaint recently filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa lays out the story, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
A man named Ramon Christopher Blanchett, 29, of Tampa, submitted self-prepared tax papers in early 2017, listing himself as a “free-lancer,” and included W-2 forms from jobs at a nursing home and a Sizzling Platter restaurant.
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One form showed that he earned $17,098 in wages and the other showed he earned $1,399 in wages, the Times reported.
However, one of the forms showed $1 million in federal income tax was withheld from his pay.
Somehow, the U.S. Treasury sent Blanchett a refund check for $980,000, based on the $1 million withholding figure, the Times reported.
Blanchett allegedly used the cash to open a money market account and buy a Lexus, according to the complaint. The filing says that when the account was opened, Blanchett allegedly claimed the money was inherited from his deceased father, the Times reported.
After the IRS discovered the problem, an IRS special agent took custody of the luxury car and recovered more than $900,000 of the money, according to the Times.
Now the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tampa is looking to recoup $809 that Blanchett allegedly received when he canceled his auto insurance on the Lexus. Authorities claim the cash represents “proceeds of wire fraud.”
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Blanchett has not been charged with a federal crime, but has a criminal record, according to the Times, which said it could not reach him for comment on the IRS case.
The IRS and relevant financial firms also would not comment on the pending case, the Times reported.
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