Unsuspecting PBC residents may be tax fraud victims

741 tax returns filed from one Belle Glade address

BELLE GLADE, Fla. - More than 700 potentially fraudulent tax returns were filed under one Belle Glade address in 2010.  A resident there was shocked to find that his home may somehow be involved in a major fraud case.

Charles Shepherd was extremely surprised when his address could be at the center of a tax fraud case, one of the largest in the nation.  Federal authorities say potentially fraudulent tax returns,  741 of them, were all filed under one single Belle Glade address.  Shepherd said he knew nothing about it.    

Shepherd's address, 308 SE 3rd St., was the address that a West Palm Beach teenager found on her credit report.  Karrie DuBois, 18, requested the report after she says someone stole her identity and her tax return check.  She says she had filed electronically online.  "You don't even sign it yourself," she said.  "You type your name and you hit send. How do they know that it's really you?," asked DuBois.

Thirty miles west in Belle Glade, Shepherd, a city maintenance worker, wonders how his address could have ended up on DuBois' documents.  "I lost my social and my I.D. last year," he said.  "Maybe somebody found them and used them."  He says his wallet was stolen and it took him months to obtain a new social security card and identification.

Shepherd has many questions about this major tax fraud case that is literally hitting too close to home.  "I'd like these people to find them and see where the money's going, and get who's doing it," said Shepherd.  He plans to call the IRS to figure out as much as he can about how his address may have become involved.

Federal investigators are not saying if anything has been done about what they found or if criminal charges could come.   

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