Feds Indict Breathtaking Tax Cheat

January 8, 2013

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I'm not suggesting that there's all that much to this story beyond the breathtaking amount of the dollars involved; on the other hand, okay, it's sort of funny in the way that these over-the-top things are.

On January 7, 2013, a federal grand jury in Syracuse, NY, indicted Glen Richard Unger 62, Ogdensburg, NY, on seven counts of obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service, filing false claims for refunds, evading paying income taxes, and filing a fictitious obligation.  And just what exactly did Defendant Unger do? The somewhat dry and technical answer is that he between 2007 and 2011 he allegedly filed numerous false and fraudulent claims with the IRS for payment of a refund of taxes.

What caught my attention here was not so much the alleged crime as its magnitude: The Department of Justice alleges that Unger filed for some $36 million in refunds! 

I mean, wow - if you're gonna try to screw with the IRS, I guess you may as well go all in and aim for the stars. $36 million !? How do you even wrap your arms around that number? If I tried to enter that refund into TurboTax, would the program crash and burn amid a "TILT" message?  If I walked into an H&R Block office, would this proposal have given the accountant a coronary?

If convicted, Unger a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years, a term of supervised release of up to three years, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

NOTE: An Indictment contains merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.