Nursing home worker is jailed for three years over false tax claim that netted him $980,000 refund on earnings of $19,000
- Ramon Christopher Blanchett bought a $51,117 Lexus before he was caught
- His lawyer says ‘I can’t believe they sent the check in the first place’
- IRS seized the car and confiscated the rest of the cash when they spotted error
A nursing home worker who made a false claim to get a $980,000 tax refund despite earning less than $19,000 has been jailed for 34 months.
Ramon Christopher Blanchett, 30, from Tampa, Florida, electronically submitted two W-2 forms in February 2017 where he listed his occupation as ‘freelancer’.
When the Internal Revenue Service sent him the massive check he splashed out on a $51,117 Lexus RC350.
But the IRS discovered the fraud before he had a chance to buy anything else and seized the car and confiscated the rest of the cash.
US District Judge James S Moody Jr told Blanchett that the sentence reflected ‘the seriousness of your conduct.’
Ramon Christopher Blanchett, 30, from Tampa, Florida, falsely claimed $980,000 tax refund
When IRS sent him the massive check he splashed out on a $51,117 Lexus RC350 like this one
The IRS seized Blanchett’s Lexus and the rest of the cash when they detected the fraud
Public defender Paul Downing described the case as ‘highly unusual’ at an earlier hearing and added: ‘I can’t believe they sent the check in the first place. Wasn’t there any oversight?’
Blanchett, a part-time student and community college student, electronically filed two W-2 forms.
The first said he’d earned $17,098 in wages at the nursing home but was owed $980,000. In reality he’d only been paid $2,098 and was owed nothing.
The second was a genuine form relating to $1,399 he’d earned at a Sizzling Platter restaurant in Murray, Utah.
But the IRS still sent a check which Blanchett deposited into a Sun Trust account and used some of the cash to buy the Lexus in August 2018.
Blanchett pleaded guilty to the theft of government funds last October.
Accompanying him to court Thursday were his mother, grandmother, girlfriend and their two-month old son, Lexington.
Mr Downing asked the judge for leniency saying his judgment and decision-making abilities had been impaired by his ‘very difficult childhood’.
He said both his parents had been drug users and his father had been in jail several times.
Blanchett, a part-time student and community college student, was jailed for 34 months
Blanchett’s lawyer said his judgment was impaired due to a difficult childhood
Mr Downing said: ‘He had a very strained relationship with his father.
‘He wants to be a better father to his own young child than his father was to him.
‘We came to the conclusion that the best example you can set is to admit guilt, apologize and accept the sentence of the court. That’s what he’s done.’
Assistant US Attorney Rachelle DesVaux Bedke said the sentencing guidelines suggested a sentence of between 30 and 37 months for this level of fraud.
She also said Blanchett had tried to file other false returns even after IRS agents told him he was under investigation.
And she said he violated the terms of his temporary release last year by using marijuana, and had missed an appointment this week with a counselor.
She added: ‘I applaud his aspiration, but it seems Mr Blanchett hasn’t come to fully appreciate the seriousness of his conduct and what he needs to do to get back on track and prevent a recurrence.’
The judge allowed Blanchett to remain free until he reports to the Bureau of Prisons at a yet-to-be scheduled date.