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Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Slice 1/17/13: Georgia prisoner rakes in $2.8 mill. in faulty tax returns

Mayor Kasim Reed speaks at the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail dedication

1. The Atlanta Beltline yesterday filed a lawsuit against a Sandy Springs real estate firm for "cybersquatting," or maintaining a handful of websites Beltline officials say create confusion and dilute its brand. Thomas Wheatley's legendary nose for news sniffed out the website snafu way back in 2007, noting that as long as they didn't turn into Atlanta renditions of Second Life we'd all probably be just find ... While not exactly the Second Life he was referring to, it seems the issue at least got a second wind.

2. A Marietta man managed to cheat the Internal Revenue Service out of $2.8 million in tax refunds while he was serving time in state prison by filing fictitious returns for an imaginary company, "Safety Shoes & More Inc." Yet, after his scheme unraveled, IRS officials were able to recover $2.2 million from bank accounts the 34-year-old controlled.

3. An audit looking at the use of gift cards by City of Atlanta departments over the past five years found no obvious signs of theft or fraud, but said the lack of financial oversight and shoddy record keeping made the process ripe for abuse. Atlanta spent $125,000 on gift cards between the beginning of 2008 and Sept. 2012, according to the AJC.

4. Snow is already coming down in Mississippi, and it looks like it might be heading our way. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and drive safe. You can do this.

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