Tax fraud poses large concern

By Adam Kujawski

Last month, Oakland University Chief of Police Samuel Lucido issued a release to the campus community regarding the filing of fraudulent tax returns on behalf of OU employees.

The incident has been under investigation by the IRS since February 10, but so far no further information has been released by the university.

Associate Professor of the Department of History Karen A.J. Miller is one of the faculty who has been affected by the identity theft.

When Miller filed her tax return, she immediately heard from the IRS that she couldn’t submit because one had already been filed in her name.

She called the IRS and was instructed to re-submit a hard copy – rather than online – and file a police report.  She was told it would take up to 180 days for her case to be processed.

“I’ve had to make some adjustments in my finances because I was counting on my tax return to do some investments that I’ll now have to put off,” she said.

It is believed that Miller’s social security number and W-2 have been stolen.  She is under the impression that somehow somebody breached an “employee section” of SAIL where pay stub information is available.

Miller has heard from sources that there are several other cases at OU in addition to her own.

“I have heard – though I did not hear this from the horses mouth – I have heard that there are over 200 cases at Oakland,” she said.

The concern now is the breadth of the issue.  While hundreds may have to deal with this now, there is still a month until taxes are due; many people may not yet know if they have been affected.

“Typically the people filing before April 15 are those that are owed money by the government,” Miller said.  

For the rest of her life, Miller will be checking credit card reports and worrying about her retirement account being raided by the thieves that have her pertinent information.

“I’m reasonably confident that the IRS will recognize that I’m the legitimate one filing my taxes,” she said.  “But my bigger concern is that they have my social security number.  When will this go away?”