An 18-year-old man named Charles Turner faces multiple felony charges because authorities say he tried to steal more than $25 million from Georgia taxpayers.
Authorities said Turner owned a small business, a perfectly legal, online mail-order business, and the business was based in the City of South Fulton. According to investigators, Turner would log-on to the Georgia Department of Revenue website to pay state taxes on his business. But they say it turned out the bank accounts that Turner claimed were his, the ones he was using to pay the taxes online, were fake, and he was only pretending to overpay his taxes-- thinking the state would not catch the deception before paying him the refund.
"Fortunately for us, and the taxpayers of Georgia, we lost no money in this case, but he kept trying," said Josh Waites, of the Georgia Department of Revenue, on Friday. "I think he thought if just one of these [refund demands] would go through, then that was money that he would then have in his bank account," Waites said.
The City of South Fulton released a statement Thursday evening, and part of the release said, "Turner presently has a total of $28 million sitting in the U.S. Treasury right now."
But Waites said Turner does not have anywhere near that amount of money, and that U.S. Treasury is not involved in this case.
11Alive News is trying to contact the city to clarify the statement that Turner had amassed $28 million.
Turner had also been wanted on a warrant by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office for alleged forgery. Authorities arrested him on the new charges and took him to the Fulton County Jail.
Investigators are still gathering more information on the case.
"Unfortunately, he had been successful a few times" in earlier, smaller fraud schemes, Waites said, "and that's what we've seen in the past, where someone is successful for a small amount, and goes for the home run. He was able to get $18,000 [fraudulently] from SunTrust. He was able to write a check to a car dealership to pay off a very nice car, in full--with a bounced check. So he had some success. So I think he got a little greedy,"
Waites said when agents raided Turner's family home Thursday and conducted a search, they found in Turner's room not only his computer, but also numerous academic awards. "Hopefully after this is over, he can use his intelligence to do the right thing," Waites said.