When a man applied for a job selling life insurance, his potential employer pointed out a blemish on his background check that indicated he had an outstanding tax lien. Without missing a beat, the man replied that it had been taken care of and he would send proof. Shortly thereafter, a faxed letter was sent to the company indicating that the tax lien’s “amounts in question have been satisfied completely.” It concluded with, “there are no outstanding fees or penalties due, and your record has been cleared of any restrictions or liens.” The letter was signed in the name of a US District Judge.
The company was suspicious and sent the letter to Alicemarie H. Stotler, the judge indicated on his letter. The judge reviewed the letter and saw her forged signature on it. Surprisingly, the judge knew the man, since she once sentenced him to prison for filing a false tax refund claim. She reported the crime and FBI agents who later confronted and arrested the man, who “was cooperative and made a full confession.”
Even if the man’s forged letter would have made it past his potential employer, he still would not have gotten the job. A company official told the FBI that he later discovered the man’s long criminal record on the background check, which wasn’t disclosed to them when he applied for the job. On it there were 14 felony fraud convictions.
Besides not getting the job, the man faced up to five years, but his lawyer and prosecutor agreed upon a shorter, 10-month sentence for the crime.