Prisoner Receives $215,000 Refund from IRS

Any law-abiding, tax-paying citizen might be delighted, if not shocked, to receive a $215,000 tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service, but it seems like an awful lot for a prisoner to get.

John Wesley Sarpy pleaded guilty earlier this month to filing a false claim when he sent in a tax return from prison, claiming $213,000 refund after showing 2001 earnings of $987,219 and tax withholdings totaling $576,495.

In fact, Sarpy, 31, had earned just $16,752 and paid $3,287 in withholding taxes before he was locked up for auto theft at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility.

The return amount rose to $215,000 when the IRS saw that he hadn’t included a standard deduction for himself and added an additional $2,000 to his return.

The error was found when his fiancée tried to cash the check and bank employees called the authorities.

John Harrison, an IRS agent in Colorado, told the DenverChannel.com that the IRS usually identifies fake claims before checks are issued. "He's somewhat unique," Harrison said.

You may like these other stories...

Legislation coming out of Washington just might reduce homeowners' burden for disaster insurance. It's a topic very much on everyone's minds since the mudslide in Oso, Washington. The loss of human life was...
Divorce is hard, and the IRS isn't going to make it any easier. The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to salvage...
IRS chief: New rule on the way for tax-exempt groupsIRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the USA Today on Monday that the agency will likely rewrite a proposed rule regulating the political activities of nonprofit groups to...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.