Man Behind IRS-Impersonation Scam Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison

One of the more insidious scams of this decade has been the IRS impostor phone scam, where someone posing as a police officer or federal agent calls you up and threatens to arrest you over your tax balance. Of course, that balance is payable immediately by prepaid debit card. A Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to running such a scam from 2011 until his 2013 arrest has been sentenced to 175 months in prison and $1 million in forfeiture for his crimes.

The federal government estimates that this iteration of the scam drained $1.2 million dollars from the wallets of ordinary people, and that what makes it so terrible isn’t just the money. “The nature of this crime robbed people of their identities and their money in a way that causes people to feel they have been almost destroyed,” the judge said during sentencing.

Victims lost $5,000 to $7,000 each, a lot of money for most Americans and a devastating amount to lose to manipulative overseas fraudsters. While the impostors were in call centers in India, they spoofed their phone numbers to make it appear that the phone calls came from the FBI or a federal prosecutor’s office.

The man who was sentenced today didn’t think of this scam, and it certainly hasn’t ended with his arrest. His job was to be the US-based man who collected the money from victims’ prepaid debit cards.

14-Year Term for Leader of Scam That Cost Taxpayers Millions [Associated Press]
Leader of tax-related phone scam sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison [CNN]

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