L.A. seems to becoming a hotbed of tax fraud controversy. A man named, Trang Van Dinh, is being sentenced on two felony counts of filing false tax returns between 2009 and 2010. Dinh worked as a Los Angeles County welfare worker for 10 years, determining those who were eligible to go on welfare or other types of public assistance. He would “prey” on vulnerable people who claimed their tax refunds were delayed because Dinh would secretly file false returns in their names. He used the needy people’s personal information like social security numbers to launder money eventually to himself. He is now faced with 46 months in federal prison and $667,000 in restitution to the IRS.
Whether a needy citizen or not, when having someone else fill out your taxes, always double check with the IRS to confirm receipt of your returns. As unlikely as it might seem for a public social worker to defraud innocent citizens, this case is testament to the fact thatanyone can do anything given the amount of power he/she attains. It never hurts to ask questions and it is always important to follow up on your returns because it is your money that you are letting these people handle “appropriately.”