Thursday, September 27, 2007

Update: Clean it and fry it!

Some may remember just about one year ago, when I wrote a post about my daughter's Girl Scout Troop Leader stealing her identity (along with the rest of the troop), then filing no less than 19 fraudulent tax returns to the tune of $187,000, of which $87,000 was received and spent. Well, the IRS isn't fast about what they do, but never let it be said that they aren't thorough. Holly Barnes was finally indicted by a Federal Grand Jury earlier this month. She faces 320 years in jail and 8 million dollars in fines. Like a hooked fish fighting the inevitable, she pleaded "Not Guilty".

I got my subpoena today, as did my wife who was the co-leader of the troop. That kinda pisses me off because we had planned on being in attendance as members of the viewing audience, not as witnesses. Being on the witness list precludes us from viewing the trial because in a court of law, no witness can be present for the testimony of another witness. We don't really have much to testify to, basically that we didn't give her permission to use our daughter's Social Security Number and that our daughter isn't a 19 year old model who made over $100,000 last year. Seems to me like they could depose us and get that information in the form of sworn statements but I'm no lawyer. I was just really looking forward to watching this fish flop around in the frying pan.

In the United States District Courts, there are NO PLEA BARGAINS. You plea straight-up to your charges and are at the mercy of the court when it comes to sentencing. As I understand it, the IRS has the highest conviction rate of any Federal Law Enforcement Agency, better than 95%. This case is pretty much a slam dunk. Holly is no genius and left a fat trail of bread crumbs for the Agents to follow. Coupled with her "confession", it should make for a tidy little conviction. And as if that weren't enough, it seems, the State of Florida has her up on 10 outstanding warrants unrelated to this case. I think it would be sufficient to say that she's going spend some time in prison. Though I'm quite sure the maximum sentence of 320 years will not be imposed, I would suspect that it would be safe to assume that she will spend at least 5-8 years in the slammer. I'm not a big fan of the IRS but I'm sure rooting for them on this one.