Posts Tagged ‘Identity theft’

All Is Good

September 26th, 2011 No comments

Back in July, I wrote about the unfortunate circumstances striking Arizona resident Clifton Goodenough: His identity was stolen by a man who had been declared dead by an Illinois court in 1986. This man, Arthur Jones, was caught by authorities in July with using Goodenough’s social security number as a worker at the Rampart Race & Sports Book in Las Vegas.

Earlier today, Jones pleaded guilty to using a false name to obtain a driver’s license or identity card. Jones avoided trial on several other felony charges, and faces probation or one to six years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for January 31.

All is back to good for Goodenough.

Categories: IRS Tags:

In Two Places at Once

July 27th, 2011 No comments

Identity theft can turn an innocuous nightmare into a painful reality. Such reality was the case for Arizona resident Clifton Goodenough. Yes, even a guy with the last name Goodenough can fall victim.

Told in a story by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, problems for Mr. Goodenough began in 1995, as notices arrived from the IRS annually. For each year, the IRS system showed an individual with his social security number had earned income that was not reported on his tax return. Problem was, the extra income was earned in Las Vegas, while Goodenough worked as a nurse in a Phoenix hospital.

Goodenough had to deal with wage garnishment, bank levies, and other IRS collection action on tax liabilities that weren’t his. Goodenough had to explain his way out of the mess each year. At least the IRS accepted his explanation that multiplicity doesn’t work with humans. But that didn’t explain why it kept happening.

A few years ago, Goodenough got a lead when the annual IRS notice contained someone else’s name: Joseph Richard Sandelli. Sandelli was a casino worker in Las Vegas. Goodenough finally got suspicious, and an investigation commenced.

Authorities learned that Joseph Richard Sandelli was in fact Arthur Gerald Jones, who had been declared deceased by an Illinois court back in 1986.

Jones disappeared in 1979 after running from gambling debts and mob connections. In order to remain under the radar, he purchased Goodenough’s stolen security number and began to use it. Jones has been charged with several felonies, and is scheduled to appear in court in August.

I wrote about this story because, as you can see, all it takes is a social security number to perpetrate identity theft. Identity theft is a big problem. For example, you may have received an e-mail appearing to be from the IRS, asking for personal identification information. Let me be clear: The IRS does not initiate e-mail communication with taxpayers regarding tax account matters.

The IRS has a helpful page that shows what typical IRS phishing e-mails look like and how to report them. Think twice before mindlessly providing personal identification information. Don’t be the next Goodenough.

Categories: IRS Tags:
COMPENSATION DISCLAIMER: Please note that Taxes in the Back has financial relationships with some of the merchants mentioned here. Taxes in the Back may be compensated if consumers choose to utilize the links located throughout the content on this site and generate sales for the said merchant.