Florida man’s $980,000 refund check from IRS was first clue something was wrong, then he went and spent it

We’ve all wondered what we would do if we received a large check in the mail. Tax-return time is a great time for retailers, car lots, and realtors because people often use their return to buy large ticket items they otherwise cannot afford throughout the year.

So, when a 29-year-old Florida man received a $980,000 refund check from the IRS despite only making $18,000 according to his self-prepared tax return, he too bought a big-ticket item.

Ramon Christopher Blanchett of Tampa submitted a 2017 return using the W-2s provided by his two former employers and listed his occupation as “free-lancer.”

According to the Tampa Bay Times, his W-2 from one employer listed a little over $17,000 and the other about $1,400. However, one form mistakenly reported $1,000,000 withheld, thereby triggering the $980,000 return.

Blanchett allegedly used the return to open a money market account and buy a luxury car, telling bankers the money was an inheritance from his deceased dad.

Once the IRS caught the error, they recovered the car and nearly $900,000. While no federal charges are pending, the IRS wants to recoup the $809 of refunded money Blanchet gained when he canceled the insurance on the repossessed car, claiming the money is the “proceeds of wire fraud.”

Blanchett could not be reached for comment, and according to some reports does have a criminal record. The complaint filed by the IRS to the U.S. District Court does not yet seek any indictments, just the recovery of the mistakenly paid return.

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