Let's imagine, just for a minute, that you decided on a new line of work: ripping off the IRS. How do you think you would launch your new business? Maybe you'd open a secret bank account in one of those "sunny places for shady people" like the Cayman Islands or Bahamas. You might rent a secret flop house where you could hide evidence of your crimes. And you'd probably look for someone who could make you a fake passport, just in case the heat comes down and you have to flee the country under a secret identity.
You probably wouldn't post anything about your new career online, would you? Right? But if you're Rashia Wilson — the self-appointed "first lady of tax fraud" — you'd brag about it all on Facebook! Why play it safe and discreet when you can pose for pics with stacks of cash in your hands to mock the authorities? What would your friends say if you posted something like this in your feed?
"I'm Rashia, the queen of IRS tax fraud. . . . I'm a millionaire for the record, so if U think indicting me will B easy it won't, I promise you!
Wilson is a 27-year-old mother of three in Tampa, a seventh-grade dropout with 40 previous arrests under her belt. She recruited friends and family to steal Social Security numbers and file false tax returns, directing the very real refunds to reloadable debit cards. She stole so much that authorities dubbed their investigation "Operation Rain Maker" because of all the cash raining down on the suspects' mailboxes. Even more incredibly, they first caught wind of her scam in 2010 when they noticed a drop in illegal drug dealing in the area. Their theory, which proved correct, was that Wilson's henchmen had abandoned their previous careers trading agricultural commodities and switched to an easier and more lucrative enterprise. (And really, who wouldn't want to trade standing on a hot Tampa street corner for a cushy, air-conditioned indoor gig?)
Wilson treated herself to just the sort of lavish lifestyle you'd expect from the queen of tax fraud. She spent $30,000 on a party to celebrate her son's first birthday (including carnival rides for guests to play on). She spent $90,000 for an Audi A8L sedan. And she filled her house with pricey purses, shoes, and flat-screen TVs.
But the party came to an end at the hands of a joint task force involving the Tampa Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigations unit, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspectors, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. In April, Wilson pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Last week, a federal judge sentenced her to 21 years in prison and ordered her to pay $3.1 million in restitution. But authorities believe she and her gang actually stole more than $20 million in all.
We can all assume that since Wilson made her money stealing from the IRS (and, by extension, from you and me), she wasn't reporting her income to the IRS. Fortunately, our proactive planning service lets you beat the IRS without risking 21 years behind bars. And we're so proud of the work we do, we love when you brag about it on Facebook. So if we've done a plan for you, why not go and tell your friends about it now? And if not, what are you waiting for — call us now and let's set it up!
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