Busted! Crooked IRS Agent Pushed Shady Mortgage Refinancings

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Busted! Crooked IRS Agent Pushed Shady Mortgage Refinancings

Let’s say you’ve got a steady job, a good income, people have to trust you (whether they like it or not), and you’re handling lots of other people’s money. What do you do? If you’re Mark Claybrooks, you start a sleazy scheme for defrauding people and taking bribes. Usually when you take bribes, you’ll get nailed by the government; they usually catch you by checking up on your taxes. Mark was safe from the IRS, for one simple reason — he worked there
.

According to one source, Claybrooks made $20,000 on the scheme — at least, that’s how much they caught him for. But the scheme lasted for several years, and those numbers are for just two… Read more…

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Doing the Minimum: Congress Spins the Roulette Wheel with New Minimum Wage Increase

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Doing the Minimum: Congress Spins the Roulette Wheel with New Minimum Wage Increase

Today, new minimum wage rules go into effect, meaning that millions of people earning between $6.55 and $7.25 per hour will get either extra green or a pink slip. It all depends on a big bet by Congress — a bet they’re happy to make, but that they never have to pay on.

The bet works like this: if most minimum wage workers are underpaid, they win! They all get raises, and the money they make is closer to what they’re worth. They spend more money, the economy gets a boost, and everyone gets to thank Congress for making sure they’re paid the right amount.

And if they aren’t worth it — or they are worth the money, but… Read more…

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Fast Cars, Mansions, Casinos — and a Tax Evasion Tale that Doesn’t Add Up

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Fast Cars, Mansions, Casinos — and a Tax Evasion Tale that Doesn’t Add Up

Your typical leveraged buyout kingpin lives in a swanky Park Avenue apartment, or maybe a hollowed-out volcano in the South Pacific. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some good old-fashioned tax dodging and company buying-out, right in the middle of Utah.

Husband and wife team Lester and Jeanette Mower liked the idea of trading companies for fun. The weird thing is that the confusing part is the legal part: they would create new businesses, merge them with existing public companies, and sell the stock. That meant a blizzard of paperwork, lots of legal fees, and transactions with dozens of banks and brokers. That’s the complicated part.

Next comes the simple part: once they sold their shares — they never… Read more…

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