Right Field

Ex-NFL Players Arrested in Tax-Fraud Scheme

Idiots. The Miami Herald reports:

FBI agents faked out a couple of ex-NFL football players and a former local high school star by setting up a check-cashing store “front” in North Miami, where the players are accused of cashing dozens of fraudulently obtained tax-refund checks and seeking a loan — all totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The undercover operation, designed to block an alleged identity-theft and tax-refund scheme, sacked a pair of National Football League veterans and a Miami Jackson High graduate:

•  William Joseph, a University of Miami defensive tackle who was drafted in the first round by the New York Giants in 2003 and last played with the Oakland Raiders in 2010.

•  Michael Bennett, a University of Wisconsin running back who also was drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2001 and finished his career with the Raiders in 2011.

• Louis Gachelin, a Miami Jackson High and Syracuse University defensive lineman who signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots in 2004. Gachelin never made the final roster.

Authorities say the latest tax-related fraud case, while unique because of the ex-NFL defendants, is yet another example of the escalating number of reported identity-theft crimes in South Florida and nationwide.

FBI agents arrested the three former players — Joseph, 32, of Miramar, Gachelin, 31, of Miramar, and Bennett, 33, of Tampa — on Monday. The defendants were granted bonds Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube.

Arraignments are set for May 15. Their lawyers declined to comment.

As part of the investigation, the FBI also arrested five other defendants Monday.

Joseph, Gachelin and those five defendants were charged with cashing a total of about $500,000 in fraudulently obtained tax-refund checks, forging signatures on the checks and unlawfully using identification documents such as a driver’s license. As part of the sting, the FBI charged 35 percent to 45 percent in fees to cash their checks with the bureau’s own funds.

The rest here.

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
World

Who Is Boris Johnson?

By next week at this time, Boris Johnson will be prime minister of the United Kingdom. Not since Margaret Thatcher has such an outsized personality resided in Number 10 Downing Street. Not since Winston Churchill has such a wit presided over Her Majesty’s Government. Wit is actually the chief reason for ... Read More
Energy & Environment

Ohio Bans ‘Nature Rights’

Finally! After voters in Toledo granted "rights" to Lake Erie -- in a special election, it should be noted, with minuscule turnout -- Ohio has outlawed the enforcement of "nature rights" in a budget bill signed by the governor. From the legislation: Sec. 2305.011...[Definitions omitted] (B) Nature or any ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Ungrateful among Us

This is the transcript from Episode 156 of The Editors. Rich: How bad were the president’s tweets? What does Ilhan Omar owe to her country? We will discuss all of this and more on this week’s edition of The Editors. I’m Rich Lowry, and I’m joined as always, or at least most of the time by the right, ... Read More