The number of bogus returns filed from prison jumped from 18,000 in 2004 to 91,000
in 2010 to 173,000 in 2012, according to a recent report by the inspector general's
office at the Treasury Department.
The report, which primarily focused on 2010 returns, found that $758 million worth
of fraudulent refunds were claimed that year - double the dollar amount in 2009.
According to the inspectors, $35 million was paid on the 2010 returns before they
were discovered to be fake.
The trend isn't improving. In 2012, the inspectors found that the IRS stopped $2.5
billion worth of fraudulent refunds - with $1.1 billion of that from two especially
ambitious prisoners. No figure was provided on how much was refunded last yearbefore the IRS learned something was amiss.