Virginia and Derma Miller, mother and daughter, had a good thing going. They took identities of the physically and mentally disabled and filed tax returns on their behalf. Of course, those returns all had refunds, with those refunds finding their way to the Millers.
All was well and good for the Millers until the IRS discovered the scheme. Earlier this year the Millers were tried and found guilty of conspiracy to steal tax refunds and aggravated identity theft. Virginia Miller had earlier been sentenced to 61 months at ClubFed; Derma Miller received seven years at ClubFed last week. Derma Miller must also make restitution of $493,697, the proceeds of her ill-gotten gains.
While I have nothing but kudos to the IRS and Department of Justice in putting the Millers behind bars, I still believe that the IRS is far more reactionary to the problem of identity theft than creating positive actions. Next season’s mandatory interviews of taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Credit will not stop dishonest tax professionals from committing identity theft related crime. After all, identity theft is already a crime; if you’re going to commit one felony what’s the harm of committing another.