Tuesday, May 26, 2015

School's out!

Summer is here and we've hit the home stretch on the school year, but these students have much bigger concerns.  From the Miami Herald:

Caleb Fadet, who grew up in a working-class family in North Miami, seemed to be making all the right moves to get ahead in life.

He graduated with a criminal justice degree from Florida A&M, volunteered as a tutor in the federal AmeriCorps program and earned a scholarship to pursue a vocational degree in funeral sciences at Miami Dade College in 2012.

But Fadet did something really stupid along the way: For a lousy $550 kickback, he let a boyhood friend use his student bank account at MDC to deposit $18,000 in illegally obtained tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. Federal agents arrested Fadet two years later while he was working at the U.S. Postal Service and applying to join the Army.

On Tuesday, Fadet, 27, will learn his punishment — at best, probation; at worst, up to one year in prison — in Miami federal court. Either way, he will still have a felony record.

“Caleb is a good kid who made a terrible mistake,” his defense attorney, Adam Schwartz, told the Miami Herald. “He had a lapse in judgment, and it’s something that he will have to live with the rest of his life.”

Fadet, who pleaded guilty for his minor role in the fraud scheme, has plenty of classmates from MDC who got caught for committing the same crime, theft of government funds. He was among 18 students charged in November with allowing their Higher One bank accounts to be used for depositing ill-gotten IRS tax refunds.

Collectively, the 18 college students — along with three Target store employees named in one case — were accused of using Higher One bank accounts to receive about $500,000 in fraudulent income-tax refunds between 2011 and 2013. The online accounts are managed by traditional banks, such as Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. In total, the defendants used the stolen IDs of 644 victims while trying to collect $1.9 million in IRS refunds, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Almost all of them have pleaded guilty and received relatively short sentences, from probation up to two years in prison — including a few punished for stealing other people’s names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers to commit tax fraud.

It's also the home stretch for the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court is heading into the final month of its annual term.

In a potentially historic ruling, the court will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide, culminating a two-decade legal and political fight for marriage equality.

Another much-anticipated decision will be whether the Obama administration may continue to subsidize health insurance for low- and middle-income people who buy coverage in the 36 states that failed to establish an official insurance exchange of their own and instead use a federally run version.

If the court rules against the Obama administration, about 8.6 million people could lose their subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
Ireland is first country to legalize same-sex marriage in popular vote
Ireland is first country to legalize same-sex marriage in popular vote

Between now and late June, the court will hand down more than two dozen decisions on matters such as politics, civil rights, free speech and air pollution. Several of these cases have been pending for months, suggesting the justices have been sharply split.


Anonymous said...

Poor Caleb. This "lapse in judgment" and "terrible mistake" may cost him up to 1 year in jail along with pretty much everyone else in this fraud scheme! Yikes. Interestingly, the 644 victims have and will most likely suffer much longer than the horrible 1 year in jail he could face, for this "terrible mistake". But I am sure the argument is the system failed him at some point in his life.

Anonymous said...

It's not the year, its the lifetime of being labeled a felon. That's a big hit for $550. The penalty here doesn't fit the crime.

Anonymous said...

Jay - we know you're an identity theft "victim" and you are bitter and exact your revenges. But come on you can't be that angry and miserable.