A man, Todd P. Halpern, in New Jersey was charged with one count of tax fraud and one count of identify theft. He was arrested at his home by agents of the FBI and IRS, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman’s office.
Halpern prepared and filed 657 fraudulent federal income tax returns with the IRS in 2009 and 2010 using the Electronic Filing Identification Number of a deceased tax return preparer. Halpern prepared and filed the tax returns using stolen identities of actual taxpayers, without their knowledge. The tax returns contained fraudulent income and deduction amounts, which allowed Halpern to receive tax refunds deposited directly into his personal bank account. What a crook!
IRS agents determined that $373,938 in refunds from fraudulent tax returns were wired into Halpern’s personal bank account between July 2009 and August 2009. Halpern used these funds to make purchases at Prada, Chanel, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales, to acquire season tickets to the New York Giants, to purchase thousands of dollars in jewelry, gold coins, and silver certificates, to make car payments on multiple luxury vehicles, including a 2007 Cadillac Escalade and a 2008 Lexus GX-470, and to buy car parts for his classic 1957 Chevy Bel Air.
The charges of tax fraud and identity theft are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Let’s hope he gets the max on each count.