Syam

In August 2012, The Examiner blew the lid off the Syam tax scam, exposing the corrupt company and its staff of swindlers exploiting hundreds of elderly and disabled taxpayers in order to line their own pocketbooks. After intense scrutiny, investigators’ efforts have finally borne fruit.

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A company under investigation for defrauding hundreds of Southeast Texans has changed its name, but it hasn’t kept investigators from targeting the cross-country enterprise. Initially operating under the umbrella of Syam Investments, the company and its officers are alleged to have used promises of a false “Social Security stimulus” to lure the elderly and disabled into turning over sensitive information such as bank account, Social Security and identification numbers.

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Shannon Mays

The Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today charged Syam Tax Services, LLC and two of its officers – Shannon Mays and Marshrief Shead – with fraudulently obtaining elderly Texans’ sensitive personal information and illegally filing falsified federal income tax returns on their behalf.

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A scam targeting the elderly and disabled has continued to flourish even after an Examiner investigation and subsequent FBI raid exposed a ring of actors filing fraudulent income tax returns on behalf of their victims. 

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As previously reported in the pages of this newspaper, a scam targeting seniors and persons receiving disability benefits made its way through Jefferson County in the past few months, with residents of Port Arthur impacted at a significant rate. Those perpetrating the scam duped victims by promising them access to a federal stimulus check, allegedly available to all Social Security recipients, even though no such provision exists. Victims supplied the scammers with copies of their driver’s license, Social Security number, and banking information.

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A scam targeting seniors and persons receiving disability benefits made its way through Jefferson County the past few months, with residents of Port Arthur impacted at a significant rate. Those perpetrating the scam duped victims by promising them access to a federal stimulus check, allegedly administered to all Social Security recipients, even though no such provision exists. Victims supplied the scammers with copies of their driver’s license, Social Security number, and banking information.

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After The Examiner revealed that hundreds of elderly and disabled Southeast Texans were targeted in a scam to bilk needy citizens with promises of a federal stimulus check, a search warrant was executed at the Port Arthur home of one of the suspected perpetrators.


Back story

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Our cover story this week is a sad tale of greed and fraud perpetrated on mostly elderly victims by a slick group of tricksters who ought to be ashamed of themselves. If they aren’t now, they likely soon will be as local, state and federal law enforcement officers catch up with them and put an end to their nefarious scheme and hold those responsible to account in a court of law.

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In the last few months, hundreds of elderly and disabled Southeast Texans have been scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars, an investigation by The Examiner has revealed. The victims thought they were claiming a portion of federal stimulus funds set aside to assist low-income Social Security recipients, when in fact no such provision exists.

Instead, false tax returns were submitted to the IRS in their names, with roughly half of the ill-gotten refund going to a third party. Once discovered, the victims are on the hook for the entire sum.

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