Florida Man Takes IRS For Nearly $1 Million In Tax Refund Scam

A Florida man who apparently earned less than $18,000 but claimed that he had $1 million in federal taxes withheld was busted after netting a $980,000 refund.

Ramon Christopher Blanchett, 29, filed a 2017 tax return claiming that he had $1 million in federal taxes withheld from an alleged $17,098 income.

Blanchett filed his return electronically, listing his occupation as “free lancer.”

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That filing included W-2 forms from a Tampa nursing home and a Sizzling Platter restaurant in Murray, Utah.  Both W-2s showed no federal tax withheld.  One was for $2,098 and the other was $1,399.

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The Tampa Bay Times reports:

“Based on Blanchett’s submission of the (tax return), falsely representing that $1 million in taxes had been withheld, the U.S. Treasury issued checked number 4038088544305, made payable to Blanchett, for $980,000,” the complaint says.

Blanchett deposited the money into two accounts at SunTrust. After freezing the funds for suspected fraud, SunTrust closed the accounts last May and sent Blanchett a cashier’s check for $980,000. He used that to open a money market account with Grow Financial Credit Union, “falsely representing that the funds were from the estate of his deceased father,” the complaint says.

Blanchett then transferred various amounts among various Grow Financial accounts, ultimately withdrawing $49,117 in the form of a cashier’s check. On Aug. 9, he bought a 2016 silver Lexus RC350.

By this time, the IRS had realized it had a problem. Pursuant to a federal seizure warrant, an IRS special agent took custody of the Lexus and the remaining $919,251 balance in Blanchett’s accounts. The IRS is trying to get back another $809, the amount Progressive Insurance refunded to Blanchett after he cancelled his policy because he no longer had the car.

Last month, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tampa filed the forfeiture complaint for the Lexus and the $919,251. A magistrate judge found that there is probable cause to believe that the $809 insurance refund is “the proceeds of (Blanchett’s) wire fraud” and is also subject to forfeiture. No date has been set for a hearing on the complaint.

While average Americans received a refund of about $3,000 that year, Blanchett took in nearly $1 million and the interesting thing is that the IRS didn’t even notice it until it was too late.

Had Blanchett been smart, he would have simply disappeared with the cash, but like many criminals, he was quite stupid.

What’s interesting is that he hasn’t been charged with a federal crime.

However, this is not his first run in with the law.

His rap sheet includes possession of drug paraphernalia in 2016 and resisting arrest without violence. He pleaded guilty to resisting and a lesser offense on the other charge and paid a $274 fine.

He was also busted in 2014 for misdemeanor marijuana possession, but the adjudication was withheld — meaning he was found not guilty by the court.

Personally, I believe the income tax is immoral, but so is trying to deceive people to make out like a fat cat. Now the IRS is frustrated they got took by this guy and want “their” money back. Perhaps, they are feeling a little like the average American taxpayer.

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