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Man Uses IRS Tax Refund Error, Faces Jail Time

Fair or Not: Guy Uses $110,000 IRS Mistakenly Gave Him, Might Face Jail Time

California-based Stephen McDow is in trouble with the IRS for spending part of the $110,000 that the government mistakenly sent to his bank account, reports KCAL. Apparently, the money was supposed to go to an elderly woman who had accidentally given the IRS an old checking account number that closed in 2004, which the bank recycled and assigned to Stephen. However, when the woman tried to get her money back, Stephen said that he had already spent $60,000 of it on student, car, and mortgage loans, but offered to pay her back in installments.

Despite his offer to pay her back, Stephen is being charged with one felony of grand theft by misappropriation of lost property and might face up to four years of jail time. Do you think the IRS should go easy on him?

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Nepolean2950958 Nepolean2950958 4 years
FYI - Just thought you should know this news. This is not spam Washington, DC, July 13, 2012 - The family of Stephen Reginald McDow is in the process of forwarding a final check to the woman known as Michele D. of Los Angeles, CA. They do so because of no personal involvement and liability in the matter. They decided to offer a loan to Stephen Reginald McDow...(Click to read more)
allazay allazay 5 years
In this day it would be hard not to spend it especially if you were broke and struggling from week to week,but you'd have to do the right thing and try to return it.The IRS is funny about money they pay out!
marvinlee marvinlee 5 years
The IRS sent me $900 more than I had asked for. The IRS, or its program, had made a mistake on an obscure tax carry forward provision. The remarkable thing was how unhelpful the IRS was when I notified it of the mistake. I ended up going through six different individuals before I got one to actually review the facts. I wonder if the same IRS error is costing the federal government millions of tax revenue dollars each year.
28meters 28meters 5 years
@atc: read the article - grandma gave an old account number that the bank recycled, so the IRS didn't *make* a mistake. as for the balanced budget 12 years ago, some accounting models include social security's trust fund and its surplus, while others do not. which model is used depends on the political mileage that can be gained. as for the idiot that spent over half of 110 grand that wasn't his, the IRS should slap a lien on everything he has and dare him to cry about the interest rate compounding at 1 percent per day. do the math.
atc atc 5 years
They should put the IRS person that keyed the wrong figure in jail. If we make a mistake on our taxes they want to hang us! I do agree the guy should not have spent it. However, our government is out out spending our money without any jail time. We had a balanced budget 12 years ago now look at it. The government spent alot more than 100K.
fooloof fooloof 5 years
don't blame the IRS; they put the money in the account number they were given. but the guy obviously knew the money wasn't his and was a complete idiot for thinking he wouldn't get caught. MAYBE you could get overpaid 2 or 3 grand and think you miscalculated, but 100K?? did he even make 100 grand last year? I doubt it, if he's paying off student loans and blowing through the money like that.
JOLO22 JOLO22 6 years
CS&L -- Common sense and logic. That kind of money does not just appear. He needs to have his loans put back to a state of equity, and this should be done within 60 days. That's the extent of my "mittigating circumstance" opinion.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I agree, I think you're going to be a bit suspicious to receive that kind of money. He had to have known some mistake was made and should not have used the money.
shannrose shannrose 6 years
I think that he must have had some idea that he was receiving funds that didn't belong to him and his knowingly using it definitely is a crime. However, the fact that he is able and willing to pay it back should definitely be mitigating circumstances.
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