A 29-year-old Florida man submitted a false tax return to the IRS in 2016 and got a refund check for $980,000. Ramon Christopher Barnett claimed $18,497 in income, $47,357 in deductions, and one million dollars in income tax credit withholding. His return included a fictitious attachment that contained information on wages and taxes withheld from a nursing home. Thinking ahead, he requested the IRS withhold $20,000 from the refund for the following year’s estimated taxes.
In reality Blanchett had barely made $4000 that year and had paid no taxes.
When the $980,000 check arrived he deposited it in his account at Sun Trust Bank. The bank promptly contacted the IRS, put the check in a vault and closed the account. A year later the check was cleared and Blanchett asked that the check be reissued. He took the new check to a new bank and claimed the money came from an inheritance.
Blanchett bought a Lexus with the money for $51,617 and by the time the IRS came knocking he still had $917,641 in the bank. The car was confiscated and in a plea agreement Blanchett agreed to pay the IRS $59,768 in restitution plus any taxes, fees, penalties and interest accrued over the last three years. He faces up to 10 years in prison.