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Richmond County sheriff's deputy fired in connection with tax return scheme, sheriff says

Thursday, Aug 2, 2012 1:57 PM
Last updated Friday, Aug 3, 2012 12:50 AM
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A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was fired Thursday for supplying personal information to a group suspected of filing false income tax returns, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said.

Deputy Sean Street, 37, had been on the force for four years.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Deputy Sean Street, 37, had been on the force for four years.


Deputy Sean Street, 37, was fired after a internal review board hearing, according to a news release.

Street, who had been on the force for four years, had been suspended with pay before the review board, Strength said.

The sheriff said an internal investigation had been launched after Street’s name came up in another operation the department was conducting with the Internal Revenue Service into cases of identity fraud and false tax returns.

Investigators determined that Street had been collecting names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of people and supplying those names to another person suspected in a tax fraud scheme.

Investigators have not determined whether any of the names collected by Street were used to file false returns, and Street has not been charged with a crime, Strength said.

He said the sheriff’s office is continuing to work with the IRS in the investigation, which he expected to result in indictments.

He declined to elaborate or supply more details about the investigation.

Strength said a second sheriff’s employee who had been on suspension with pay during the investigation has been cleared and returned to work.

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Little Lamb
46859
Points
Little Lamb 08/02/12 - 02:14 pm
9
0
Sinking Ship

I'm sure Sheriff Strength can't wait for retirement from that place.

allhans
23998
Points
allhans 08/02/12 - 02:32 pm
9
0
I don't get the "suspended

I don't get the "suspended WITH pay".
I guess committing an illegal act can be lucrative in more ways than one.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/02/12 - 02:47 pm
12
0
I am anxious to know how he

I am anxious to know how he obtained social security numbers. I would like to see some new laws passed preventing the use of ssn's for any purpose other than tax filing and benefit collections. Too many unscrupulous people have access to the privacy of others and are using that information for personal gain, or to exploit the person in some way.

We have seen an excellent example of vindictive people snooping on others during the sheriff's race. Any employer who has a person(s) like this connected to their business in any way is begging for a lawsuit. And it's likely to be a huge one.

rebellious
21293
Points
rebellious 08/02/12 - 03:01 pm
7
1
Now Now Willow

Be nice now Willow. It is scary how often people are subjected to giving out information which can be used for identity fraud. I seem to recall (not sure if it was local or not) a scheme similar where inmates info was collected and tax returns filed with the refunds going to the schemer. It's just crazy you are not safe in jail!! "The whole world's gone crazy" - George Wallace (comedian)

Little Lamb
46859
Points
Little Lamb 08/02/12 - 03:08 pm
8
0
Sheriff & SSN

Good afternoon, Willow. Here's a possible explanation: I know a person who a few years ago was a victim of a crime in Dillard's dept. store. This person made a purchase at Christmastime, and the seasonal store clerk wrote down the Dillard's charge card number. Later that day, the Dillard's employee made several large purchases in Dillard's using my friend's card number. My friend, of course, knew nothing until she got her next Dillard's bill in January.

So she called the store, where the manager was able to reveal the name of the employee to the sheriff's office. A deputy asked my friend whether she wanted to press charges, and she did. That was the point at which the deputy asked my friend what her Social Security number was. When my friend objected, the deputy said they had to have the number because that was how they numbered the files, by SSN of the complainant. My friend, rightly so, refused to give the number to the deputy. But just think how many others complied with the system over the years.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/02/12 - 03:28 pm
9
0
Hi, rebellious, I love the

Hi, rebellious, I love the new avatar. And I like the word you used "subjected". Start taking notice of how many places ask you for your social security number who have absolutely no business having it.

Here's an example...the dentist. Unless you are using a dental insurance plan and your policy number is identified by it, or unless you are using welfare benefits, applying for a credit acount with them, or obtaining employment from them, it's none of their business. I don't give it to them. When they ask, I politely say, how did you plan to use it? Well, they don't know, so problem solved. I also removed it from driver's license and it certainly doesn't appear on my checks.

As to jail, I agree, is there any place safe any more?!

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/02/12 - 03:48 pm
8
0
LL, I agree. I have received

LL, I agree. I have received calls from my teen while she was shopping in the mall requesting her ssn. I always tell her if they need your ssn to purchase something, tell them to keep it.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/02/12 - 03:51 pm
5
0
LL, a law enforcement story

LL, a law enforcement story will come to you by email later today.

hotsaucemom
164
Points
hotsaucemom 08/02/12 - 05:55 pm
6
1
Their more (20) females

Their more (20) females involved here living in Augusta than the sheriff's office, in tax schemes, riding around Augusta never work a day in their life in new cars with big rims, all brought with turbo tax money scams.

heartablazing
28
Points
heartablazing 08/02/12 - 06:04 pm
4
0
There is a news story on the

There is a news story on the yahoo there is a story about the IRS having sent out $5 billion dollars on tax returns that were fraudulant.That is the amount just for the 2011 tax season. The sad thing about it is that our information is out there and so easy to get a hold of.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/02/12 - 07:12 pm
1
4
Information taken from a

Information taken from a personnel record and given out by any government entity, under FOI open records act, have all of the employees personal information REDACTED from them.

AutumnLeaves
8434
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/02/12 - 07:12 pm
5
0
To answer allhans...

To answer allhans, he HAD been suspended with pay because he had not been reviewed yet, as is proper procedure. They had to review the facts before they could determine whether or not to fire him. You just don't go around suspending people without pay based on allegations. You have to prove there is some basis for suspension or firing first.

Jake
32844
Points
Jake 08/02/12 - 07:14 pm
11
1
Comments

Maybe it is just me but when people are posting and they make comments with a lot of typographical and spelling errors it makes it hard to read and understand.
I see a lot of folks that do not understand the difference between "there" and "their" or "want" and "won't".

'

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/02/12 - 07:20 pm
2
2
Medical and dental office

Medical and dental office require your SSN whether you have insurance or not due to the fact if your bill is not paid and your account is forwarded to collections, your information INCLUDING your SSN is needed to file with the credit bureaus. How many people do you think could possibly be named Smith, Johnson, Jones, etc with the same common first name in Georgia alone? Now add worldwide? I sure wouldn't want someones bad debt going under my name with the credit bureaus.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/02/12 - 08:03 pm
6
0
Reading comprehension required

"And unless you are obtaining CREDIT from them... It is none of their business. "

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/02/12 - 09:18 pm
3
2
@littlelamb

You are perfectly correct in your answer. It is part of a Deputy Sheriffs job to ask for name, DOB, SSN, Address, phone#, Height, weight, martial status and place of employment. If you call me and report your house burglarized or a simple theft of a broome off your porch, I'm likely to ask you all these quetions. Why? Because there are blocks in the report for all this information. Its not because we "just want to know." Its because the report itself, asks for all this information. If we turn in a report without FULL information filled in, we get it marked with RED INK and told to fix it.

I've actually had to call complainant's back and ask them where they work or marital status because I had forgot to get in at the scene. I've had numerous people tell me that they are not comfortable giving out their SSN. That is OK, I just have to note that they didn't want to provide it and why. I just can't leave it blank without noting a reason or a trip to the supervisor's office is coming. Don't let a Deputy tell you they CAN'T do a report without it. They can, they just have to NOTE that YOU didn't want to give it, making sure the supervisor knows HE didn't just forget. But yes, we do need name, DOB and address on the report to better identify who is making the report.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/02/12 - 09:22 pm
5
0
Also, this saddens me

Also, this saddens me greatly. A dishonest person like this helping deteriorate the public's trust in its law enforcement. You can't trust anything or anyone now days. I just can't wait for Christ to return, He shall establish TRUST back.

jack2006
106
Points
jack2006 08/02/12 - 09:56 pm
3
1
Jail is where he needs to be!

When you file a police report, they ask for your driver’s license that has your home address. They ask for your date of birth even though it is on your driver’s license. They ask for your social security number. They even ask for your work place and phone number. When you ask the deputy why they need all of that information, they come back with, we need this for the police report. Not sure because not all Officers ask for all of that information when you make a police report. They don't really investigate the crime. I haven't had one solved yet. Years gone by and still no answers from the reports of this year.

Wow!

Now, we have to find out that some of them are using that information to commit Identify Theft from within the Police Department? How many victims are there? How many unknown victims? Once that type of data is stolen, it will travel forever. A breach of public trust requires more than just a firing but a jail cell.

How low can they go?

Any and every person that has filed a police report needs to be on guard from ID Theft from the Richmond County Department.

Broken Trust!

chemchick
21
Points
chemchick 08/03/12 - 06:26 am
2
1
Most LEOs are honest...

Please do not through all deputies under the bus on this one. One bad apple does not mean the whole orchard is bad. Most of our area deputies are honest men and women. Please remember that. As for your ssn, just do not give it out, if you do not want to.
There is no need to be paranoid. Everyone is not out to get you. Most folks don't even want you!!!

CABoatright
188
Points
CABoatright 08/03/12 - 07:22 am
1
0
JAKE!!!
Unpublished

Subject-verb agreement, proper grammar, spelling....I've even seen signs (check out "Hertage" Place) that are misspelled!!! Check out the spelling in the headlines of our local TV stations--makes me crazier than usual.

CABoatright
188
Points
CABoatright 08/03/12 - 07:24 am
1
0
Former Deputy Street should be required to pay back
Unpublished

Former Deputy Street should be required to pay back every dime he collected while suspended WITH pay, now that he's been fired.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/03/12 - 09:27 am
1
1
Good post chemchick.

Good post chemchick.

Riverman1
86791
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 07:20 am
0
0
I wouldn't mind giving my SSN

I wouldn't mind giving my SSN to law enforcement. There may be foul-ups like with this guy at times, but identifying someone for a law enforcement reason should be allowed.

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