In my 30 years in Corrections, one of the important things that I learned was that “smart” thieves stay out of prison and only the “dumb” ones get caught and do time. Fortunately, the vast majority of these fall into the last category.  A prime example of this, is the following story of Rashia Wilson.

Rashia Wilson and her boyfriend filed more than 220 fraudulent tax returns from 2009 to 2012, claiming $1.9 million in false tax refunds.  The IRS approved most of the returns and sent out $1.3 million in refunds.  Rashia Wilson posted her crime on her Facebook page, on May 22, 2012, along with a picture and a caption: “YES I’M RASHIA THE QUEEN OF IRS TAX FRAUD.  IM’ A MILLIONAIRE FOR THE RECORD SO IF U THINK INDICTING ME WILL BE EASY IT WONT I PROMISE U NEED MORE THAN BLACK AND WHITE TO HOLD ME DOWN N THAT’S TO DA RAT WHO WENT N TOLD, AS IF 1ST LADY DON’T HAVE DA TPD (tampa police department) UNDER HER SPELL.  I RUN TAMPA RIGHT NOW.  I PROMISE YOU.  I WON’T DO NO TIME, DUMB BITCH.”

Wilson, taunted that she’d taken at least $ 20 million, but only copped to $3 million. Authorities believe the actual figure is much higher.  The government indictment could only prove a total loss of $ 1.1 million.

The returns made use of tax credits that authorities say are known to be vulnerable to fraud. The returns listed Dallas addresses, and in most instances, the occupation of the purported filer was listed as “sales” or “cook.” Scores of the returns were filed from local hotels, and some were filed from Wilson’s home.

Ultimately, the Queen of Tax Fraud was dethroned when she committed the fatal error that many criminals do: she posted how she attained her wealth, through tax fraud, on Facebook.

It seems Wilson did not realize people do sometimes read what is posted on Facebook.  And that authorities, both local and federal, often peruse the social network when they are alerted to something suspicious.  Pictures posted on the social platform showed Wilson flagrantly flaunting her wealth.  In one picture she was seen clutching thick stacks of bound-cash.

Authorities saw this as Wilson thumbing her nose at the government and taxpayers, and behaving as though she was untouchable.

Last September, Grand jurors apparently got the message and responded with a 57-count indictment charging Rashia Wilson, 27, of Wimauma, Florida and her boyfriend, Maurice Larry, 26, of Tampa,Florida with mail fraud, filing false tax returns, conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and theft of government property.

The truth that being rich does not help criminals escape punishment must have become apparent to her when investigators searched her home in September 2012, and found evidence of tax fraud including debit cards, bundles of money, nine computers, a hangun, and ledgers with the personal information of more than 1,600 people, including medical records.

Documents state Wilson used the money for “personal greed and glorification,” as she unabashedly splurged on jewelry, cars, trips, clothes, and parties for herself and loved ones.

One of her ill-gotten vehicles, an Audi, was worth over $90,000. A birthday for one of her children exceeded $30,000 in estimates.  A visitor to her spacious house reported seeing bags of money.

At the same time, Wilson reportedly collected $668 a month in food assistance from the state.  In applying for the benefit, she claimed she earned $200 a month working as a hairstylist.  She reported no employment income in her own name to the IRS.”

Wilson has a lengthy arrest record, in which, she has been arrested 40 times since the age of 12.  Wilson pleaded guilty to the federal weapons offense relating to the gun seized from her home, but did plead not guilty to tax fraud. Both she and her boyfriend will go to trial in March 2013.

Due to the loopholes in the IRS system for spotting fraudulent tax claims, the country loses billions of dollars of tax money annually. Tax credits are also used by tax frauds to dupe the IRS.  The IRS estimates it paid $99 billion to $119 billion in improper payments for the earned income credit alone from fiscal year 2003 through 2011, according to the report, which says the IRS has no estimate for improper payments of other credits.

The Hope education credit, also known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, was the subject of a 2011 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which said billions of dollars in the credits were being erroneously paid. The $2,500 credit, designed to offset the costs of higher education, became refundable up to $1,000 in 2009, the same year investigators say Wilson started committing tax fraud.”

On Tuesday, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Tax Fraud,” Rashia Wilson, was sentenced to 21 years in prison by a federal judge.

In an equally unforgiving gesture, the US District Judge, forbade Wilson from hugging her children, ages 2 to 12, after she was sentenced and taken away from court. The mother of three devised a scheme using stolen identities. She then used the identities to defraud the system and filed fraudulent IRS tax returns.

The suspect’s defense begged for leniency, claiming the woman had been a crack baby born to a crack-addicted mother and that she suffered from bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is often associated with extreme behavior and mood swings.

Wilson admitted to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax fraud. Upon sentencing the Queen of Tax Fraud broke down into tears.

Now she can be the QUEEN OF THE BITCHES in a Federal Penitentiary…N THAT’S A FACT…JACK!