IRS Identity Fraud Prevention Specialist Arrested For Identity Fraud, Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

from the multiple-layers-of-thievery dept

In late spring of last year, more than 100,000 taxpayers had their personally-identifiable information accessed by criminals. It wasn't a security breach, nor was it accomplished by "hacking." Instead, it was the result of the IRS using common static identifiers to verify accounts -- information that could easily be found elsewhere. These were deployed to access transcripts of taxpayers' filing histories. The transcripts gave criminals the information they were actually seeking: Social Security numbers, birth dates and current addresses.

The IRS promised to be less easily "hacked" going forward. It didn't mention any specific steps it would take. "Protocols" would be "strengthened" and taxpayers known to be compromised (likely a smaller number than those actually compromised) were given the consolation prize of free credit monitoring and a "Sorry about that" letter from the IRS.

In addition, efforts were mounted to further protect taxpayers from identity fraud, which, to date, has produced a study, a "working group" and a press release. This may prove fruitful in the future (actual implementation date still TBA...), but it's too bad the agency couldn't be bothered to escalate its defensive efforts until after catastrophe had already struck. And it does nothing at all for past hurtful efforts made by "helpful" government employees. (via Overlawyered)

Federal officials today announced arrests and charges in a stolen identity tax-refund scheme believed to involve more than $1 million in false claims and run by an IRS employee who was supposed to be assisting taxpayers experiencing problems resulting from identity theft.

A federal grand jury earlier this month indicted NAKEISHA HALL, JIMMIE GOODMAN and ABDULLA COLEMAN for their involvement in a 2008 to 2011 scheme operated out of Birmingham that involved stealing personal identity information from the Internal Revenue Service to create fraudulent tax returns and collecting the stolen refunds…
Hall, having access to taxpayer information as an IRS employee, apparently orchestrated the scheme. Fraudulent tax refunds were routed to prepaid debit cards. These cards were then sent to a variety of fake home addresses set up by the three conspirators -- one of which is already doing time on an unrelated charge.

There you have it. The IRS is unable to protect you from outside threats or inside threats. It's still generally satisfactory when it comes to closing doors on empty barns, though. And, Nakeisha Hall -- tasked with preventing ID theft but instead engaging in it -- transfers to the US Dept. of Irony, joining such luminaries as Air Force chief of Sexual Assault Prevention (arrested for sexual assault) and the Obama administration (whose open government workshop was closed to the public).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 8:59am

    Look over there....

    You know, it is sounding like it is actually dangerous to trust the government.



    Pessimism is in vogue this year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 8:59am

    This is why you don't rely on pure trust on the Government (and its employees) when building something (system, law, whatever). Valid elsewhere but critical when it's the government. Because the Government is run by fallible humans. And you bet they will fail if there are easy ways to exploit the system. This is also why you need to narrow the scope of laws to very defined terms, this is why you have protections in the Constitution against the Government. Even if the current Government is all honest and good one never knows what will come next.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Lord_Unseen (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:20am

    Process is important people. There should never be only one person responsible for anything, especially something as important as fraud protection. All decisions should run through multiple people, things have a much harder time flying under the radar then. It's the same reason the top levels of our government has checks and balances. Granted, that hasn't been working as well lately, but it does keep one person from screwing up the whole system, at least.

    So, that's the lesson for the IRS. Get a process for everything and force everybody to stick to it. No exceptions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:43am

    Re: Look over there....

    The moment you trust the government or any government is the moment you have just said... it is okay for them to become corrupt.

    These words are NO JOKE!

    The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance!

    It sure does suck to be surrounded by what seems to be a majority of citizens that simultaneously talk about how tired they are of the corruption which doing everything necessary for that very same corruption to thrive!

    We often get the government we deserve!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Matthew A. Sawtell, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:46am

    Thanks for the Link, figure this should spawn a couple flaming chain mails

    Thanks Tim for the link, have sent it off to a few folks on both sides of the political aside, and I figure this should spawn a couple of flaming chain mails in no time. Wonder how long before Snopes will have to get involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 10:38am

    we're america. we don't need no stinkin' evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Look over there....

    Typical idiotic rant, why even bother with such blather?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    teknosapien (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 1:13pm

    There are processes in place that ...

    Private financial industries must follow to safeguard their customers.
    Why would it be any different for a government agency that deals in billions of tax dollars

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Look over there....

    What is idiotic about it? Corruption is everywhere in government. I originally liked Obama and what he stood for before he was president. Now I can't stand him since the reasons I voted for him not only didn't happen, he made it worse.
    As scary as it is out of all the future candidates, I think Trump is likely the most trustworthy. At least you know exactly what he stands for and will follow through. Maybe if he becomes president, it will cause our government to implode and we can start over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Digitari, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 1:46pm

    wasn't there a time........

    ...that the Federal Government was not able to pass laws that they did not follow? Granted I took Government classes 35 some years ago but I seem to recall that.

    Maybe it was just a dream I had.........

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Look over there....

    Corruption is not exclusive to government, it is a human shortcoming found almost everywhere you look. Deny it all you want.


    I would trust Trump as far as I could throw a grand piano.
    What do you think Trump's "final solution" will be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    NeƩ Oh!, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 2:26pm

    Damn you Trinity!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 3:26pm

    It would be nice to see some of the billions we spend chasing movie magic terrorist threats redirected to solving actual problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Eyes, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Look over there....

    You must be a Judan, if you elect to use that vocabulary. STFU.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Eyes, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:03pm

    Class action lawsuit

    All those who have had their identity defrauded within the IRS system should join in a class action lawsuit against the federal government. If you don't think there is much inconvenience and disruption from this happening to you, you are wrong. It's for the rest of your life too. In addition, you as the 'victim' are not authorized to know who did it-based on the IRS investigation. BECAUSE SURPRISE!!! IT COULD VERY WELL BE THE IRS THAT DID IT!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:11pm

    Closing the barn door after the cows all escaped?

    Does IRS stand for Idiotic Retard Service?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2016 @ 4:18am

    Re: Closing the barn door after the cows all escaped?

    More like Infernal Rectum Services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    iCleverUserName (profile), Jan 5th, 2016 @ 4:51am

    As someone who worked for the IRS, I am always surprised at these stories. I don't know how employees in/around me would be able to get such information without multiple systems alerting higher ups.

    I had the system alert my bosses several times and my requests were completely legal.

    I am not saying the story is wrong....I just have worked in several cities and thought I knew the IRS system fairly well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2016 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Look over there....

    And you are wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2016 @ 5:28am

    Re: Class action lawsuit

    IIRC, one must first obtain permission to sue the government.

    Also, industry wants you to think your id has been "stolen" when in fact they have been the victim of fraud and then try to get you to pay up for their lack of due diligence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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