Monday, December 26, 2005

Jailhouse Fraud

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas, happy first night of Hanukah or at least a fun, relaxing weekend. While eating my latkes yesterday, I enjoyed a great story by Dennis Wagner of The Arizona Republic on how inmates are getting rebates from fraudulent tax returns. "Inmates Scam IRS Big Time," details how the IRS caught 18,000 U.S. prisoners falsely applying for $68 million in refunds last year, or one-seventh of all fake refunds. The actual amount of prisoner fraud is probably much higher, Wagner explains, because of cracks in the system and a lack of resources by prosecutors. What makes this story work so well is that it uses strong anecdotes to bring its data to life.


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