First grader sparks tax fraud investigation - WFLA News Channel 8

First grader sparks tax fraud investigation

Posted: Updated:
RIVERVIEW, FL -

Investigators searched a Riverview home Monday night after getting a report that a first grader showed up at school with a plastic bag filled with debit cards commonly associated with tax refund fraud.

The six-year-old removed the bag from her backpack when the teacher asked students to retrieve their schoolwork, said Corp. Bruce Crumpler of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The bag contained 52 cards, four of which were marked with names of family members and 48 of which had other names on them, he said.

"We're not sure how they got inside her backpack, we're still investigating that," he said. "I don't believe she actually knew what they were at the time, I think she thought she was pulling out some flashcards for school."

The girl played in the neighborhood and her mother sat just outside their home while a deputy stood nearby as law enforcement executed a search warrant  Monday night. No arrests were made Monday but an investigation is ongoing.

Crumpler heads up a team at the sheriff's office investigating the tax refund crime in which criminals use stolen identities to file fake tax returns and get refund money from the government. The crime has exploded in the Bay area over the past few years and law enforcement has created special task forces and initiatives to combat the problem.

"This is a new one," Crumpler said. We've done a lot of search warrants, I've been involved in this tax fraud business since the inception of it and just when you think you've seen it all, you have a six-year-old that comes to school with a bunch of debit cards."

When investigators searched the girl's home, Crumpler said they found more of the debit cards. Authorities are often on the lookout for the cards because suspects have fraudulent refund money loaded onto them.

In addition to the cards and some computers, investigators also seized a safe, and pricey items including a large-screen TV and motorized children's scooters.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • FBI investigating reports of attacks on US banks

    FBI investigating reports of attacks on US banks

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:14 AM EDT2014-08-28 09:14:01 GMT
    The FBI said Wednesday it's working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several U.S. financial institutions.
    The FBI said Wednesday it's working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several U.S. financial institutions.
  • Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

    Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:19:51 GMT
    Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hackReports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack
    The FBI is investigating a hacking attack on JPMorgan Chase and at least one other bank, according to reports citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
    The FBI is investigating a hacking attack on JPMorgan Chase and at least one other bank, according to reports citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.