Identity Theft, Tax Fraud Snares Prisoners

I’ve covered some of these cases previously on this site and, but it’s worth noting as a vulnerable population. Joe Palazzolo reports:

A raft of federal prosecutions has uncovered tax-fraud schemes involving the theft of U.S. prisoners’ social-security numbers, many times stolen by corrections employees.

Last year alone, federal courts meted out prison sentences to an Alabama bail bondsman, two former Alabama corrections employees, a Florida corrections officer, and a Georgia man, who were convicted separately of stealing the identities of more than 1,200 prisoners and claiming more than $6.5 million in tax refunds under the inmates’ names.


A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, released last year, found that false returns filed with prisoners’ social-security numbers had surged to about 137,000 in 2012 from 37,000 five years earlier. Refunds claimed in the false returns in 2012 amounted to about $1 billion; the Internal Revenue Service prevented all but about $70 million from leaving the Treasury, the report said.

Read more on WSJ.

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