A 19-year-old accused of attempting to steal more than $ 20 million from the state of Georgia has been stopped and put in jail, just days after the unrelated charges against him were dropped.
Charles Turner was at the center of a investigation started by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) in early December, after investigators said they had discovered an elaborate tax refund system. Turner was arrested Jan. 18 and sent to DeKalb County Jail on charges of criminal attempt to commit a crime and computer theft.
According to WSB-TV, state investigators said Turner started an online business called Riverdale X through which he sold Amazon electronics for a fee and collected money from customers who had never received products. They said he then opened an account with the DOR, giving the impression that he was a profitable business that had to pay state taxes.
“He actually started a business, opened withholding and sales tax accounts, and was overpaying over $ 25 million on those accounts,” Josh Waites, Georgia Department of Revenue chief investigator said the local Georgia outlet.
Waites did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment; however, he told WSB-TV that the money entering the DOR came directly from the bank accounts of Turner’s “customers”. He said the teenager would then claim a tax refund of the same amount he overpaid to be paid directly into his personal checking account.
The company came to the attention of the DOR because of the amount of money entering the system daily, as well as the amount that was quickly written off due to fraudulent accounts. Police seized Turner’s hard drive in December.
Just two days before Turner’s arrest on January 18, he was residing at Henry County Jail. There, he faced counterfeiting charges for allegedly depositing over $ 60,000 in fraudulent checks at a SunTrust bank and leaving another location with $ 18,000 in cash the next day. According to WSB-TV, an exchange between a Henry County investigator and the bank proved that the account was in fact in Turner’s name and that the infringement charges would not stand.
According to jail records, Turner was still in custody as of Wednesday afternoon. His next court date has yet to be confirmed.
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