Bad Spelling Can Derail an Otherwise Promising Career in Fraud

For God's sake, get a good education.

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama said, "To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require." However, the President failed to mention the education and training that today's crimes require.
 
Chinese hackers are leveraging their state-sponsored technical skills and training to make tons of money, or at least to get into the inboxes of newspaper reporters. But here in America, any criminal who wants to graduate beyond shaking down nerds for lunch money, should maybe at least learn to spell.
Roma L. Sims, 34, [of Westerville, OH,] and Samantha C. Towns, 30, [of Reynoldsburg, OH,] were arrested on Thursday and charged with aggravated identity theft, conspiracy, and wire fraud for using [over 500 stolen] identities to file tax returns and rake in $1.3 million.
 
But they misspelled several cities when they listed return addresses: Louieville and Pittsburg1, according to the criminal complaint. Those geographic goofs caught the attention of investigators.
 
So did misspelling some of the occupations they listed on the phony tax returns.
 
Yesterday, the two were released on their own recognizance until further hearings are set.
Now if you're like me, you're probably wondering what the difference is between identity theft and aggravated identity theft. Clearly, aggravated identity theft is stealing someone's identity when you're really pissed off. Maybe these guys tried stealing someone's identity whose name was Caitlin. That name pisses me off because there are 155 different ways to spell it, and if you don't get it right, then she's like, "You don't even care about me."
 
But Mr. Sims and Ms. Towns do care about you, Kayetlynne. Without you they would get slightly less than $1.3 million. After stealing the identity of Catelan Smythe and Prajheet Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta2, I'd be pretty damn aggravated, too.
 
But the spelling errors that nailed them are inexcusable. If you're trying to pull off a $1.3 million crime with 500 fake documents, you've got to Google the tricky city names. They spelled Louisville phonetically, so I'm pretty confident I know how they spelled Norfolk.
 
And they misspelled occupations, too? You can leave the "Occupation" and "Spouse's Occupation" fields blank and not raise any red flags with the IRS3. Or at least you'll raise fewer red flags than putting "Army Lewtenunt" or "Ontruprunure" or "Resterunt Manager." Patrice O'Neal clearly warned us to avoid spelling the word restaurant in high-pressure situations. 
 
The judge didn't even make them pay bail. They were released on their own recognisense. Recognusuns. Rikugnahsins.
[They] operated the scheme under the name X-Press Taxes & Accounting Services.
Of course they went with "X-press."
 
If you're going to try to make it big in the world of fraud, stay in school, or at least invest in some high-tech gadgets. Like a Speak & Spell.
 
1 It's spelled "Pittsburgh." The "h" is silent, just like the smell of its homeless people.
2 I know you just tried to say it out loud. So does the guy in the next cubicle.
3 This year, I dare you to write "sex slave" in the spouse's occupation field on your personal 1040. See how that goes.
 
 
 

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