Man told IRS he made $18,497 and requested a million dollar refund. They gave it to him.
Filing your taxes involves the honor system. You fill in all your data and sign your name promising that everything is true. If you asked for one, the government then sends you a refund. Eventually things get reviewed, verified and, supposedly, settled up.
A Tampa man put the system to the test in 2017 when he reported his annual income as $18,497 and then asked the Internal Revenue Service to refund the balance of the million dollars he claimed was withheld from his earnings, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Ramon Christopher Blanchett had the W-2 forms to back his income claim, although the Tampa Bay Times reports his actual earnings were even lower, and no taxes were withheld. Not a million dollars. None.
Based solely on Blanchett’s claim, the IRS cut him a check for $980,000.
He managed to stow the funds in several accounts and withdraw a cashiers check for $49,117, reports the Tampa Bay Times. He bought a 2016 silver Lexus RC350.
The IRS realized their mistake and seized the Lexus and the $919,251 Blanchett had left. They still want the $809 he got back when he cancelled the insurance on the Lexus.
Blanchett, who the Tampa Bay Times could not reach for comment, has not been charged with a federal crime.
Steven Adams is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Steven at 412-380-5645 or [email protected].