Department of Revenue employees among 2,209 people filing fraudulent docs

A handful of Georgia Department of Revenue employees were among 2,209 people filing fraudulent tax returns during the recent filing season, the agency reported.

The 10 employees were caught claiming unauthorized dependents. All resigned or were fired, said Revenue Department spokesman Charles Willey. The employees must also reimburse the state $4,042.

Willey said criminal charges may be filed over some of the 2,209 fraudulent returns, which totaled about $2.8 million. Tips on fraudulent charges came in from tax preparers, other taxpayers and banks.

About 3.9 million returns were filed this year in Georgia. Though tax fraud in the state does not appear to be on the rise, Willey said, the Revenue Department has been trying to collect on the estimated $1 billion in past-due income, sales and other taxes owed by about 400,000 companies and individuals.

By spring, the agency had recovered about $140 million. In May, officials said they began garnisheeing the wages of 32 state employees for back taxes, including metro Atlanta lawmakers Rep. Ron Sailor of Decatur and state Sen. Vincent Fort of Atlanta.

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