It was almost the perfect crime, until he got caught and had all the money seized.
Don't try this at home, folks.
For most people it's never too early to start putting off your taxes. But we all might file a little earlier if we knew a $1 million refund was on its way.
One Florida man (surprise, surprise) may have found the secret to striking it rich on your tax returns though.
All he had to do was commit massive fraud.
Florida man used phony tax return to score a $980K refund https://t.co/LvggbDRB5x https://t.co/cCJuwzGFSS— New York Post (@New York Post) 1550206265.0
For a brief time Ramon Christopher Blanchett of Tampa Bay was living the high-life.
Despite listing only $17,098 in wages Blanchett claimed he had $1 million in federal taxes withheld when he electronically submitted his tax return in February 2017 according to the Tampa Bay Times.
In actuality the 29-year-old who listed himself as a "free-lancer" made just under $3500 and had no taxes withheld, but that didn't stop the IRS from cutting him a check for $980,000.
When Blanchett received his fraudulent windfall the tax savant deposited the money into two SunTrust bank accounts. After they began to suspect fraud though SunTrust closed the accounts and sent him a cashiers check for the full amount last May.
The next stop for Blanchett was Grow Financial Credit Union where Blanchett claimed "the funds were from the estate of his deceased father."
That seemed to work.
After depositing the money Blanchett withdrew $49,117 on Aug. 9 to buy himself a 2016 silver Lexus RC350.
And he might have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those pesky IRS agents.
Shortly after his Lexus purchase the IRS figured out what happened and seized the car and the remaining $919,251.
Adding insult to injury the agency is also contesting an additional $809, the amount returned to Blanchett by his car insurance company after he cancelled the policy on his seized Lexus.
Blanchett's scam may not have worked for long but people reacting to the story were still taking notes, though there's no chance this would work a second time.
@nypost I'm listening...— Jester (@Jester) 1550206501.0
I’ve clearly been doing my taxes all wrong. https://t.co/4EPictptU7— Eric Ervin (@Eric Ervin) 1550153369.0
The IRS mistakenly gave a man a $980k refund and I'm waiting for my $300 like... https://t.co/S2cMNeFcrc— Jill 😎 (@Jill 😎) 1550273756.0
@NBCNews That is quite a bit of cash— Grandma (@Grandma) 1550279777.0
@NBCNews Wow they didn’t even review it before issuing a check— ♥️DiL♥️ (@♥️DiL♥️) 1550279970.0
@NBCNews Cool. Come do my returns.— stable_genius (@stable_genius) 1550280046.0
@NBCNews I feel like we could all get away with this or should at least try— Lana Lakke (@Lana Lakke) 1550279910.0
@NBCNews Well the IRS steals from us all the time, I only wish I would have thought of that.— American Upstart🇺🇸 (@American Upstart🇺🇸) 1550279944.0
Though most seemed to have a better plan for how to hang on to the ill-gotten return.
@NBCNews Idiot! Me?? I would have moved to a country without an extradition agreement and did like everyone else; tunnel in🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣— Sonja Clarke (@Sonja Clarke) 1550280205.0
@NBCNews You'd think that someone who is bold enough to do this with success would've taken off after the cash hit the bank.— Michelle Mitzel (@Michelle Mitzel) 1550281041.0
@NBCNews I made a 280$ mistake one year a d I got audited. This guy declared 1M income & no alarm went off? And th… https://t.co/TyW5ve3ggw— MCBM (@MCBM) 1550285958.0
But in the end it was just another exciting adventure in the life of "Florida Man."
@NBCNews Something funny always comes out of Florida @ThuggyPinch— oana_veronica (@oana_veronica) 1550282352.0
@NBCNews Florida citizen being a Florida citizen. 😂🤣— Alexx (@Alexx) 1550285389.0
@NBCNews You had me at "A Florida man "— Eduardo (@Eduardo) 1550290374.0
@NBCNews It’s Florida what did u expect— PokestarFan (@PokestarFan) 1550279741.0
It seems crime doesn't pay, not for long anyway.
So far though Blanchett has not been charged with a federal crime.