Criminal Penalties for Stolen Identity Tax Return Fraud
Identity theft used to commit tax fraud is a serious criminal offense. It involves the process of stealing a person’s Social Security number and filing a tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and cashing the proceeds. Billions of dollars are lost every year in this process, and the federal government has taken actions to strengthen security and go after offenders with heavy criminal sentences. If you have been charged with identity theft used to file a fraudulent tax return, your future and freedom are at stake, even if you did not commit the crime or know that your actions were in violation of the law. Do not wait any longer to reach out for legal assistance. Call our experienced Naperville fraud defense attorneys for help today.
The Federal Government Cracks Down on Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Offenders
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) does not look lightly upon those who have in any way violated the laws of the IRS. In fact, according to the DOJ, “One of the Tax Division’s highest priorities is prosecuting people who use stolen identities to steal money from the United States Treasury by filing fake tax returns that claim tax refunds. Working to stop Stolen Identity Refund Fraud, or SIRF is vital because these schemes threaten to disrupt the orderly administration of the income tax system for hundreds of thousands of law abiding taxpayers and have cost the United States Treasury billions of dollars.” In fact, in 2013 the IRS found that $30 billion in total was stolen. However, 81 percent of those fraudulent claims were stopped or recovered, meaning that the chances of being caught for refund fraud are high.
IRS Increases Criminal Penalties
Due to the large amount of tax return funds put in jeopardy each filing season, the IRS has expanded the number of criminal violations under stolen identity refund fraud. These charges include theft of public money, mail fraud, wire fraud, forging endorsements on Treasury checks, and fraud in connection with access devices, according to the IRS. Under Illinois law, for just one violation of identity theft alone, you may face anywhere from a Class 4 felony charge all the way to a Class X felony, which includes a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of $25,000. Depending on the specifics of the alleged crimes you committed, you may be facing multiple criminal charges of fraud.
Call an Illinois Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Criminal Defense Attorney at Once
Do not hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced stolen identity refund fraud defense attorneys today if you are facing charges of identity theft. Contact the passionate Naperville fraud defense attorneys of Donahue & Sowa for assistance today.