September 30, 2020

Woman’s Absurdly Unsophisticated Tax Scheme Still Managed to Dupe The Oregon Department of Revenue

As we've witnessed, perpetrators of tax fraud oftentimes utilize very simple methods. Slapping a dead person's name, birthdate, social security number, isn't terribly difficult once the data is obtained; throw some minors on there as dependents and you've got yourself a nice little refund at the expense of some grieving family members. Not complicated. You don't even have to breathe free air to do it!

Typically these frauds are small and repeated dozens, sometimes hundreds of times for a nice little haul. This, however was not the preferred technique for Krystle Marie Reyes of Salem, Oregon who couldn't be bothered with such tedious processes (allegedly!):

According to the affidavit, Reyes used Turbo Tax, a popular tax preparation software package, to file a faked 2011 income tax return that reported wages of $3 million and claimed she was owed a $2.1 million refund. The state authorized the refund, and Turbo Tax issued Reyes a Visa debit card with the full refund amount. […] State revenue officials did not discover the fraud until Reyes reported the card as lost or stolen. In the meantime, she racked up more than $150,000 in purchases. Reyes, according to the affidavit, paid $2,000 in cash for a 1999 Dodge Caravan and used the card to buy $800 worth of tires and wheels. 

Okay, so approving a $2.1 million refund does make the ODR look pretty bad, but isn't it far worse that the accused, who fooled presumably semi-intelligent people, in this case: A) spent part of the money on pre-Y2K automobile and some new whitewalls and B) she appears to have trouble keeping track of things:

The statement says the fraud was discovered May 7 by the issuer of the debit card after Reyes reported a "second card" as lost or stolen. It's unclear whether she had already been given one replacement card.

Not exactly a criminal mastermind, ODR.

Salem woman arrested in $2.1 million Oregon tax fraud case [The Oregonian]

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