If you are currently thinking about engaging in any tax fraud, you should know that if the IRS is gracious enough to inform you that your actions — like, say, claiming ownership of a treasury bond that it is most likely fake and requesting a large, bogus refund — could result in prison time, calling their bluff is a bit risky.
Donus Sroufe, who was recently sentenced to four years in prison, was in a situation that serves as a good example.
The IRS first warned Sroufe that he could face jail time for his fake claims in April 2009 after he filed a tax return claiming he had received $2.5 million from a U.S. treasury bond and that he had paid more than $2.6 million in federal taxes. The bond didn’t exist and Soufre hadn’t paid any income taxes in 2008, authorities said. Two IRS members met with Sroufe in June 2009 and warned him a second time that his bond seemed fake. But Sroufe mailed in the fraudulent 2008 tax return to the US Treasury in August 2009 anyway, asking for a $1.7 million tax refund.
Gotta give him credit — he won't have to wonder what would have happened if he hadn't tried.