Blind ambition is a term used to describe someone who is so immersed in a goal that they will do anything and everything to achieve that goal no matter the consequences of their actions. An article published in the New York Daily News describes a legally blind tax preparer who was bound and determined to cheat both the federal and New York State governments out of nearly $2.6 million.

The story states that over a seven-year period, the man who operated his tax preparation business out of a store in the Bronx, filed at least 4,000 illegal tax returns totaling $7 million in claims with New York State and the Internal Revenue Service. Because of his illegal actions, bogus refunds were issued. (He also generated more than $500,000 in fees from his clients for the phony claims, which included fraudulent tuition credits of $4,000 on each false tax return.)

The 40-year-old man pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing to a false and fraudulent return for himself, one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false return for a relative and one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. (Prior to pleading guilty, he faced up to 26 years in prison.) The former tax preparer also is required to pay restitution of $2,597,419 to the U.S. Treasury and New York.

Even though the man apologized for his actions before the judge, she decided that his crime deserved a severe punishment. Perhaps the prison experience and steep financial penalty will cause this fraudster to pause and reflect on what honest ambition looks like.

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