TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida man who reported $18,497 in wages is in trouble after he received a $980,000 tax refund based on a false tax return that he filed, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida.
The complaint, which was filed Jan. 18, said the tax refund came after Ramon Christopher Blanchett reported $1,000,000 in federal income tax withheld on one of his forms.
Blanchett, according to the complaint, had reported wages from two employers on his 2016 Federal Income Tax Return form, which he self-prepared and filed on Feb. 21, 2017.
The complaint said Blanchett described himself as a "free-lancer." On one form, Blanchett listed his employer as Bridges Nursing and Rehabilitation and said he was paid $17,098, with $1,000,000 of federal income tax withheld. The complaint said Blanchett was actually paid $2,098 in wages, with no income tax withheld.
"Based on Blanchett's submission of the Form 1040, falsely representing that $1,000,000 in taxes had been withheld, the U.S. Treasury issued check number 403808854305, made payable to Blanchett, for $980,000," the complaint said.
Blanchett’s other form listed his employer as Sizzling Platter, LLC. in Murray, Utah and reported $1,399 in wages with no federal income tax withheld, which the complaint said was accurate.
The complaint said Blanchett deposited the money into two SunTrust accounts, then was given a cashier’s check for the $980,000 after his funds were frozen for suspected fraud in May 2018. He then opened a Grow Financial Money Market account in July by depositing the cashier’s check, claiming the money was from "the estate of his deceased father," according to the complaint.
The complaint said IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) seized $919,251.94 from three Grow Financial Credit Union accounts in Blanchett’s name, as well as a 2016 Lexus RC 350 that he purchased with the money. Blanchett also had $809.94 in a Grow Financial Credit Union account, which the complaint said came from a refund from Progressive Insurance when he canceled his car insurance.
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