Randall Heath's Lesson in How Not to File Your Taxes

February 23 2011, 1:15 PM

Of the many wonderful things we can do with a tax return this year, 42.1 percent of us will put the cash in the bank for a rainy day. That's what Colorado Springs' Randall Heath did with the tens of thousands of dollars he reaped from his refund last year. His strategy: File early, often—and illegally. Heath was behind a unique scam that has left a local police detective shaking his head, calling Health "one of the most prolific identity thieves" the city has ever seen (via News5).

His scheme allegedly included breaking into homes, stealing personal identity records, making false driver's licenses with his own visage, and filing phony W-2 forms in several states while obtaining $10,850 in loans and customer filing bonuses from Liberty Tax Services (via the Gazette). The ruse began to unravel when Heath handed over a W-2 claiming taxes from Alaska—which doesn't withhold state taxes. Prosecutors have filed 23 counts against him, including giving false information to a pawn shop.