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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

IRS Caught Stealing And Cashing Taxpayer Checks

H/T Pat Dollard.

ABC Blotter.

IRS Workers Stealing Your Cash! Look Who’s Cashing in Your Check to the Government
ABC News Uncovers History of Contract Workers, IRS Employees Stealing Taxpayer Checks and Cash

Think your income tax check is safe when you send it off to the IRS? Think again. An ABC News investigation has uncovered case after case of checks being stolen, manipulated and cashed by contract employees responsible for processing them, resulting in delayed payments and heavily disrupted lives.

“It was beyond my wildest imagination that this theft would be an inside scam,” Brad Miller of Garland, TX told ABC News.

Last year, Miller sent a cashier’s check for more than $20,000 to the IRS, where it ended up in the hands of a Bank of America employee in Dallas who embezzled $485,539.76 in taxpayer remittance checks.
Miller said the theft left him out of a $400 fee he had to pay to stop payment on the check, not to mention the violation he felt knowing someone had accessed his money and personal information.

“I never before gave it a second thought that my check made out to the IRS would end up in the wrong hands,” Miller said.

As it turned out, the Bank of America employee, Emmanuel Ekwuruke, had stolen nearly half a million dollars in taxpayers checks, many of which he manipulated from “IRS” to “MRS” by making the ‘I’ into an ‘M.’ He then added a “MR” and his wife’s first and last name, before attempting to cash the checks. Just last week, Ekwuruke, a native of Nigeria in the U.S. as a permanent resident, was found guilty of theft, embezzlement, misapplication by a bank employee, as well as theft of public money and aggravated identity theft and sentenced to 66 months in prison.

Read the entire story here.