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    Entries in criminal justice (2)

    Wednesday
    Mar222017

    States Go Old School to Fight Tax Fraud

    D.C. and more than a dozen states are shunning paperless refunds to avoid being conned out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
    BY  MARCH 22, 2017

    As fraudsters go high-tech to scam governments for tax refunds, some states are employing decidedly low-tech ways of stopping them.

    In 15 states and the District of Columbia, tax returns that are flagged as unusual are issued as a paper refund check. The old-school method comes as tax filers are more susceptible to having their identity stolen. "When there's a suspicious situation, we send paper checks because that has to go to a physical person," says D.C. CFO Jeff DeWitt.

    Things that could flag a return include the filer having a new mailing address or using a bank account from previous years.

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    Monday
    Feb082016

    Is Paying People Not to Commit Crimes Effective?

    Washington, D.C., may offer some people financial incentives to follow the law. It wouldn't be the first.
    BY  FEBRUARY 8, 2016

    If the threat of jail or job loss isn’t enough incentive not to commit a crime, here’s one more: cash money.

    That’s the tactic Washington, D.C., is considering after the city suffered an alarming 54 percent increase in its murder rate last year. A similar approach in Richmond, Calif., has helped to reduce crime.

    The city council in D.C. gave unanimous but preliminary approval to a bill earlier this month that would identify up to 200 young people a year considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. If they complete behavioral therapy, life planning and mentorship programs run by the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement -- and stay crime-free the entire year -- they would get paid.

    The bill doesn't specify how much participants could earn, but the program would cost an average of $1.2 million a year for the first four years, including $460,000 for stipends.

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