3 Atlanta women charged for a $2 million tax fraud scheme after mining data on Ancestry.com.

3 Atlanta women charged for a $2 million tax fraud scheme after mining data on Ancestry.com.

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I remember well the debate when there was talk that death record information might be limited because of concerns over the availability of Social Security numbers (SSN) on the certificates.

 

Tax fraud.
Tax fraud.

Like most other genealogists, my defense hackles immediately started to rise, and I looked at this possibility with some indignation.
How dare they refuse us access to information about deceased individuals that should be available to the public?
In light of this story of three women profiting from a $2 million tax fraud operation using the popular website Ancestry.com, I am changing my mind. Perhaps these certificates could be released with the SSN numbers vetted (blacked out)?

As quoted on the WSBT News site “The tax returns contained false and fraudulent information, including false income amounts and dependent information. The individuals whose names were used on these tax returns often were deceased,” according to the criminal indictment filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The fraudulent tax refunds were sent to addresses associated with the women involved.
Arrest warrants were issued for Shawuana Sanders, Monica Person and Tania Zelada.
As one who uses Ancestry.com regularly, it’s very easy to access this information in death certificates available on the site.
[read more…]
 


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