It all seemed so easy. Get a blank W-2 form, fill in some made up numbers and ask the IRS for a multimillion dollar refund. For a very short period of time, the scam appeared to work…. until an alert bank employee called the feds.
Earlier this week, Margaret Monone Greenaway was sentenced to prison for 54 months on charges that she claimed false income tax refunds totaling $5,271,794. Once her sentence is complete, Greenaway will be on supervised release for an additional 3 years.
On the eve of trial, Greenaway pleaded guilty to the two-count indictment. She admitted to filing income tax returns under her name from a prior marriage. She claimed refunds on those returns based on withholdings from a company where she had never worked.
In making up the phony W-2’s, she used the tax identification number of her husband’s legitimate employer.
We were somewhat surprised that she actually received a multimillion dollar refund check. It didn’t matter much, however, as an alert bank employee became suspicious and contacted the IRS.
In recent years, refund scam have become a big headache for the IRS. New sophisticated computer programs are supposed to catch suspicious W-2’s and match employer records. Obviously, that never happened here.
Greenaway was initially released on bail while awaiting trial. Just a few short months later, however, her bail was revoked. The pre-trial services officer asked the court to revoke her bail because she refused to abide by a condition that she not access a computer.
No computer access bail conditions are the norm in child pornography and wire fraud cases. They are not as prevalent in tax cases, however. We wonder if a computer was used to electronically file the return or obtain W-2 forms.
If you have a tax problem or are under investigation for tax evasion or other serious white collar crime, give us a call. Our experienced team of criminal tax attorneys and audit defense lawyers can assist you in whatever IRS problem you face. For more more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone (414) 704-6731 (direct). All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege. Cases handled nationwide.
Post by Brian Mahany, Esq.