Tampa bail bondsman faces tax fraud charges
TAMPA - A bail bondsman is accused of committing tax refund fraud and then stealing his own records back from the IRS. Freddie Wilson, owner of Against All Odds Bail Bonds, faces possible time in federal prison after being charged with theft of government funds, identity theft and obstructing a criminal investigation. According to an IRS criminal affidavit, Wilson deposited more than $300,000 worth of fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks into accounts he opened in the name of his business and then used the money for personal expenses, including buying a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Authorities say Wilson spent more than $30,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and cashed checks to himself for more than $110,000.On his Facebook page, a grinning Wilson is wearing a white suit and holding a red chalice with rhinestones spelling “Fred.” There are Bible quotes and entries about his philosophy. “What is on my mind is you can do bad all by yourself,” he writes in one post. On Jan. 13, IRS agents searched the bail bonds business and seized six boxes of financial records, the affidavit said. Agents also seized the Camaro. Wilson’s attorney requested copies of seized records he said were needed to run the business. The IRS delivered three boxes to a FedEx copying center in St. Petersburg. When an agent went to get the records back three weeks later, he was told Wilson paid cash for the copies and also took the originals. The IRS agent contacted Wilson’s lawyer and said Wilson had to return the evidence. But Wilson never arrived at a scheduled handoff at the copy center. The attorney later texted the agent that the records had been returned. But when another agent went to get them, only half of the records were there. Asked why the IRS left the records with the copy place, spokesman Casey Tyska said, “We’re trying to accommodate him because he’s innocent until proven guilty. Anyone whose business records are seized in a search warrant we would accommodate in the same manner.” On Friday afternoon, a federal magistrate ruled Wilson may be released on a $50,000 secured bond.