Lesson of the day: If you're going to cheat on a tax return, try to use numbers that are small enough so you can stay under the radar. Oh wait - skip that. Actual lesson of the day: If you got away with stealing from the government once, it's best to quit while you're ahead. Here we have a story of a woman in Oregon who filed a state tax return reporting over $3 million in income and asking for a state tax refund of over $2 million. Like that's not going to raise any eyebrows? Amazingly, the Oregon Revenue Department authorized the refund. And then it gets better.
The woman received her refund in the form of a debit card which she requested through her TurboTax tax preparation software. She spent about $200,000 of the refund (her buying spree included the purchase of a gun) but somehow managed to lose the debit card. Rather than staying under the radar, the woman "reported the card lost or stolen." This time, the situation caught the attention of a real person at the Oregon Revenue Department who took a second look at the woman's tax return. The woman is now in custody and the State of Oregon is only out the $200k and the costs of court time and incarceration.