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San Antonio Criminal Defense Law Blog

IRS cracking down on tax fraud in Texas and beyond

The first several months of the year in the U.S. are generally thought of as tax season. While those who owe the IRS might not be particularly pleased, individuals in Texas who receive returns likely look forward to this time of year. However, tax fraud is also a part of tax season, and can result in false tax returns being issued to the wrong person. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that not every accusation of tax fraud proves to be true.

Fraudulent tax returns are usually filed after an individual's Social Security number is compromised. Once someone else has the number in their possession, a tax return can be filed under that person's identity, and a refund may be issued to someone who is not the relevant taxpayer. This has apparently amounted to billions of dollars in fraudulent returns over the past several years.

2 people face drug charges after traffic stop

What may have started out as a routine traffic stop recently ended as anything but that. The Texas traffic stop resulted in the arrests of multiple people -- one of whom was the driver -- who had allegedly been selling items door-to-door. As a result, two people are now facing drug charges. Later on, additional charges were added for both people.

While it is unclear why authorities initially pulled the vehicle over, it was noted that the vehicle sported a temporary license plate. Seven people were in the van and had been travelling door-to-door, selling magazines. Although the substance has not been disclosed, police arrested the driver of the vehicle for possessing a controlled substance.

Felony charge for Texas tire shop owner

A series of customer complaints recently led to the arrest of an auto shop owner. While dissatisfied service or what some perceive as overpaying doesn't normally result in a felony charge, these complaints were accompanied by a series of civil court cases. However, more recent accusations may have been what caused enough alarm to warrant an arrest for the Texas shop owner. In a series of civil actions that were brought against the shop owner, two ended in his favor while the plaintiffs failed to show in two separate cases.

The complaints against the shop owner and his employees vary from the quality of products to the overall cost of services, which were reportedly sometimes more than the original price that was quoted. Allegedly, some customers were sold damaged or incorrectly sized tires for their vehicle. This apparently led to at least one customer experiencing a blowout while driving.

Felony charge handed to 3 Texas men for hostage situation

In acts of desperation, some people choose to enter the United States through illegal means. One such way is to hire a smuggler to assist in entering the country, but this course of action may not always go as planned. In Texas, it is not uncommon for smugglers to hold people ransom until their families are able to pay additional funds for their release. Recently, five men were arrested on a felony charge for holding over 100 people hostage.

Apparently, 115 people were held as hostages in Texas by only five men. The minuscule house - - which boasts a square footage of only around 1,300 square feet - - is thought to be a "stash house." This is generally a house or a place where people who have been illegally brought into America are held until a ransom is paid.

Supposed drunk driving accident kills third victim

Attendees at the popular South by Southwest festival were likely shocked when a driver plowed into a crowd at the recently held festival. The supposed drunk driver initially hit and injured several people, and killed two of the festival goers. Now, a third person is said to have died due to the injuries that she sustained in the accident that was allegedly caused by drunk driving.

It happened at about 12:30 a.m. in a particularly crowded area that was blocked off for the popular Texas SXSW festival. The driver, who was running from a police officer that had attempted to pull him over, plowed through the crowded pedestrian area. Over 20 people attending the SXSW festival were injured when a 21-year-old male driver reportedly drove his vehicle into a crowded area.

Former Texas sheriff deputy charged with sexual assault

A former Texas county sheriff deputy is under fire for allegedly sexually assaulting multiple female inmates. Although he is still serving on his local city council, he has been indicted on five separate counts relating to the supposed sexual assault. As a result of the assault accusations, he lost his deputy job.

Apparently, the former Texas sheriff deputy was actually a transport deputy, which granted him access to the multiple female inmates that he is said to have assaulted. Over the course of 11 months, four separate inmates claim that the man inappropriately touched them and also exposed himself to them. They say that they were even made to participate in oral sex with the former deputy.

Texas man appeals transfer of felony charge to adult court

A man has recently had new charges pressed against him more than a decade after a previous alleged attack on a young boy. Although he was never convicted of attacking the boy, one Texas man is now charged with murder after the now-deceased victim gave a new statement to authorities shortly before his death. However, prosecution may be difficult as he appeals the transfer of his case and felony charge from juvenile to adult court.

Back in 1998, a Texas teenager purportedly threw gasoline on an 8-year-old and set the boy on fire. The 13-year-old was arrested and sent to juvenile detention for the attack that left the young boy horribly burned. He was later released when there didn't appear to be sufficient evidence to continue the case against him. As time passed, the burn victim developed skin cancer related to his attack, and confessed an important piece of evidence to authorities.

Single vehicle car accident results in drug charges for Texas man

When a car recently plowed into a tree, witnesses might have been surprised to see the driver apparently start walking away. A single vehicle accident ultimately led to some hefty charges for one Texas man. But it wasn't just the crash that landed the driver in hot water, and he is now facing drug charges as well as charges related to the accident.

A witness reported that, after a vehicle ran into a palm tree, the driver did the very last thing that he was supposed to do -- he left. Supposedly he opened up a rear door so that his passengers could also leave, and then he began walking. Police eventually caught up with the driver almost a mile away from the scene of the accident.

Health care fraud a serious problem in central Texas

According to authorities, health care fraud is the most expensive crime in the nation, with losses of up to $80 billion annually for federal health insurance. Central Texas in particular spends quite a bit more than the average on home health care than the national average, with 45 percent of home care agencies having questionable billing. Authorities say that part of that high cost is due to health care fraud.

Multiple doctors have been accused of health care fraud after home health care agencies sent patients to them in order to file somewhat phony bills to Medicare. Some of these included therapy plans that may not have been needed or may have been altered to garner a higher payment. Apparently many of the elderly patients had no idea what was happening, and indeed some of them weren't even seen by a doctor. Others reportedly went along with the scheme in exchange for gift cards or even food stamps.

CFO of Texas hospitals indicted for health care fraud

A chain of failed Texas hospitals is at the center of a health care fraud case. Accusations of identity theft in connection with the misuse of stimulus funds has two former top administrators facing serious charges. Additionally, at least one of the two has been indicted on charges of health care fraud.

What may have previously been seen as a rags-to-riches story might now just seem like a bad decision. The CFO over the Texas hospitals in question originally started out his career as a maintenance man before he worked his way up. While working with the physician who owned the hospitals, the two conspired to receive stimulus funds that they did not even qualify for. The stimulus funds were intended to help hospitals convert their paper records to more updated electronic records.

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