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KWBB CW10 South Texas :: News - Top Stories - Tax fraud victim reacts to fraud charges against Syam Tax Services, LLC

Tax fraud victim reacts to fraud charges against Syam Tax Services, LLC

PORT ARTHUR - By Megan Dillard

While many southeast Texans are talking cold weather, some victims of a tax scam have a lot more on their minds.

The Attorney General has filed fraud charges, the first step along a road that a Port Arthur man says is far from over.

KFDM talked with this tax fraud victim today.

It's a scam in which investigators say people prey on victims who draw disability or social security checks. Investigators say this is how it works.
The name of the company is Syam Tax Services, LLC.

Recruiters for the company approached low-income victims and told them they were eligible for free stimulus money.

The victims provided personal information like social security and bank account numbers which Syam then used to file false tax returns on the victim's behalf.

The IRS then refunded that money: some into the account of the victim and the rest into Syam's bank account.

Last week, the Texas Attorney General's Office filed charges against Syam, froze the company's assets and issued a temporary restraining order against all named defendants.

The news is good for victims like this man, though he says he still has a long road to repair the damage.

Theodore Victor, Sr. is cleaning up his Port Arthur home.  While he works to clean his dishes, he's also been working toward a clean record.

"She told me, convinced me, it was money owed to us because of our income."

We first brought you Victor's story several months ago.  Last year he learned he was a victim in a tax scam. He was approached by a family friend who explained Victor qualified for stimulus money from the government.

"I asked her that question too. Who are you working for, where are you getting paid? She said she's just doing this out of her heart to help people."

Victor, who is disabled and lives on social security benefits, bought into the lie. He handed over personal information.

Two weeks later, he had a deposit in his bank account for more than $750 from the U.S. Treasury.

Then, "They sent me a return in error because the refund was not filed with my consent."

He realized it wasn't stimulus money at all. Now the IRS wants the money back.

"I got started on it once I realized it was a scam. Once I found out where the money came from, that's when I went to the IRS, the Better Business Bureau, police station, did a police report."

One by one, Victor shows us each paper he's had to fill out to try to right the wrong.

"The address is not there, and the town nada, and the zip code; none of that is me."

A made up address, a forged signature, papers Victor claims he hadn't seen until the AG's office filled him in on the investigation.

"The Attorney General sent me all this information here."

A shaken sense of security, a long road to repair the damage.
As far as he knows, he still owes the money, but says he'll fight to prove he was victimized.

In the meantime, he says it's the little steps that will lead to victory.

"I feel good. I feel very good about them charging them, but I'll feel even better when he gets convicted because they hurt too many disabled people, poor people."

Victor says initially, the IRS told him he owed the entire amount of the false return; both what he was issued and the part Syam received.

Now, the IRS is trying to collect just his half.  He says he'll continue to work with the AG's office through this investigation.Tax fraud victim reacts to fraud charges against Syam Tax Services, LLC

Tuesday, January 15 2013, 10:12 AM CST
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