Do Not Report Debit Card Holding Your Fraudulent $2 Million Tax Refund Stolen

Yes, it is tempting to lie about your income and taxes already paid on your tax return and collect a huge refund. It’s even more tempting to get that massive undeserved refund on a debit card. But that’s totally unusual, and would get the government’s attention, right? Not in Oregon, where a woman has been charged with filing fraudulent return using Turbotax, and spending the $2.1 million prepaid debit card holding her refund.

According to court documents, the woman filed her 2011 tax return showing earnings of $3 million, and somehow this resulted in her receiving a refund of $2.1 million. Oregon offers tax refunds on prepaid debit cards, and she chose that option. (Surely, it is the most convenient way to carry a few million dollars around. ) After a fun spending spree, she was eventually caught when she called in to report one of her cards missing and request a replacement.

How could this scam possibly have gone wrong?


Woman accused of filing false tax return to get $2.1 million refund [KATU] (Thanks, Howard!)

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  1. bnceo says:

    Bad bad lady!

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    You had 2.1 million and you still look like that? Damn, girl, get a personal trainer and a spa day!

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      My first thoughts exactly. For $2M, she would’ve actually cleaned herself up. Go to a salon, buy some new outfits, get a new house & car…

      Which makes me wonder where did she spend all the money on?

  3. consumed says:

    This country is f#*$(ed. I made like $30,000 last year and got a crappy little 3% refund. That’s AFTER donating my old car to charity. But people who make (or claim to make) $3 million get a 66% refund?!?!

    What the HELL is wrong with this picture?!!!?!???!

    FML. The world has gone to hell in a handbasket.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Refunds aren’t based on earnings, they are based on how much taxes you’ve already paid, versus what you owed.

      If you earned $30,000 and paid two million in taxes, then you’d get almost two million back as a refund.

      It’s hard to believe that a taxpayer wouldn’t know that.

      • frank64 says:

        Many don’t, they totally look at how much the pay/get back at the end of the year. How withholding or estimated enter into the picture is totally ignored.

        • FatLynn says:

          Also, not getting a refund is a GOOD thing. It means the government wasn’t holding your money interest-free all year.

          • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

            Exactly. I’d rather owe just a little (not too much b/c there are penalties) as it means my money was “working” for me over the course of the year and not an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam. People who say “YAY I GOT BIG REFUND!!!” don’t realize it’s because they overpaid over the course of the year and didn’t fill out their W4 correctly.

          • CubeRat says:

            Interest? Interest?? I haven’t seen that in so long it’s ridiculous. I admit, if it was $2 million, I could earn some, but on my lousy few hundred, the interest amounts to a few cents at today’s rates. Therefore, I opt for the return, if any, and stick the money towards the new year’s Roth IRA contribution.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            This. I prefer to pay at the end of the year if need be.

      • Brian says:

        In other words, if this woman’s tax return is to be believed, she would have had to pay nearly every cent of her paycheck to the state. It still defies logic.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Warren Buffet sympathizes with you.

    • consumed says:

      Part of my comment is sarcasm and some of it is true.

      But in all seriousness, why does the good ole’ US of A allow people to get away with such crookery.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        You must have missed the part where the woman was caught?

        Also, cutting the IRS’s budget maybe is a bad idea?

        “Every dollar that the Internal Revenue Service spends on audits, liens and property seizures from tax cheats brings in more than $10, a rate of return so good that the Obama administration wants to boost the agency’s budget.

        But House Republicans, wary of the too-heavy hand of government, differ. They voted to cut the IRS budget by $600 million this year and want bigger cuts in 2012.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/01/AR2011030106451.html

        • StarKillerX says:

          “Every dollar that the Internal Revenue Service spends on audits, liens and property seizures from tax cheats brings in more than $10, a rate of return so good that the Obama administration wants to boost the agency’s budget.”

          Well to me this raises two questions in my mind, first how much of their overall budget is spent on “audits, liens and property seizures?”

          The second question it raises is that while that rate of return is very good, but is it possible for the department to operate more efficiently and increase that rate of return even further? You don’t stop looking for ways to be more cost effective just because you are already doing good.

    • consumed says:

      How many more b*tches are there like her that AREN’T getting caught???

      THIS IS MY POINT.

    • jiubreyn says:

      I’ve got one better for you. A friend of mine has a tendency to quit jobs for stupid reasons. As a result, he spends much of the year unemployed. For the past two years he’s gotten a tax return of over $1000 for making less than $10,000 a year! He’s not on welfare, or food stamps, or anything of the like. Just impulsively quits a job because something pissed him off. Now THAT’s fucked up if you ask me.

      • FatLynn says:

        If your friend is getting that much back, then it means more than that was withheld. That’s what a tax refund is: the government took too much out, and then they refund it to you.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          Not necessarily. Look up earned income credit (EIC). If you are single and have two children you will get back $5,236 in 2012 if you pay $0 in. Your OASDI and medicare tax would be around $850.

          The remaining amount is more than enough to cover all state income taxes (if any) and any sales taxes you could have possibly spent.

    • DragonThermo says:

      I’d prefer if I got a 0% tax refund because that means I did not overpay my taxes and give Caesar Obammus an interest-free loan.

  4. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Cheating on your taxes is probably one of the places where “Go big or go home” really shouldn’t apply.

  5. IraAntelope says:

    what’s up with the IRS? I am on social security and some self-employed income, got a $150 ‘stimulus’ bonus a couple of years ago, and IRS tried for a year to take my stimulus back. Guess I should have claimed a couple million?

  6. IraAntelope says:

    let me guess: she claimed a bunch of nieces and nephews in Mexico?

  7. jayphat says:

    iI think the most telling thing to take away from this story is the fact she used Turbo tax to do this, and no less than three actual human beings in Oregon look at it and said “seems legit”

    • fsnuffer says:

      Two million dollars is not enough to justify a cross check when working in government.

      • FatLynn says:

        Where do you see that human beings looked at it? There’s no way the documentation would check out.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Yeah, it would seem to me that it was processed by an automatic system with little, in any, fraud detection build into the system, although as I don’t know anything about the procedures there it could have passed through some people’s hands, and if it did such a bump in income should have been obvious and thrown up red flags everywhere it went.

        • jayphat says:

          It was in the UK Daily Fail version of this story. Three people in the Oregon state office double checked it and approved it. They also included in that story how the state guy in charge of such checks just cancelled a $100 million computer upgrade meant to cat h this exact same thing. It sounds like it was intentionally let through the put egg on this guys face.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Well what I thought would have set off alarm bells is someone making ten thousand dollars one year and over three million the next.

        Oh sure it happens but I would think it would definately demand a closer look.

  8. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Wonder how long, if at all, it would have taken them to catch up to her if she had not requested a replacement card. It does make one wonder how many others are out there doing the same as she.

    • FatLynn says:

      I don’t know about the state of Oregon, but I can tell you that the feds definitely catch this stuff, they are just very slow about it. Issue refund first, ask questions later.

  9. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Thought about adopting a highway?

  10. dangermike says:

    Holy split infinitives, Batman!

    The article’s been up for almost 4 hours and I don’t see a single comment about the headline.

  11. jaya9581 says:

    So a $2 million tax refund raises NO red flags at the IRS?

    • DudeIncognito says:

      Not sure how the IRS would be involved, as if you bothered reading the text or watching the video you would know this is the state of Oregon’s Department of Revenue NOT related to federal taxes.

  12. Deeya says:

    I’m more concerned about how a $2.1 million refund can go out, with NO ONE reviewing the paper work for accuracy.

  13. thor777 says:

    so that’s where all our tax dollars go…