Corrupt Cop Couple Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg In Police Tax Fraud


Max Chantha | November 7, 2015

FLORIDA – Eric and LaJoyce Houston are just like normal tax defrauding, money laundering criminals that have been tearing apart Tampa, Florida for years, except for one difference: they are both cops.

The couple are not entirely unique, however, as it seems many within Tampa law enforcement agencies are guilty of the same crimes they were meant to be fighting.

Tampa has led the nation it tax refund and identity theft fraud.

This has led to billions in federal money that could have gone to helping people or infrastructure instead flowing straight into the pockets of savvy criminals.

Many such criminals just happen to be cops as well.

The Houstons were arrested on charges of identity theft, money laundering, and theft of government property for a scheme in which they stole identities of friends, family, and even witnesses to crimes in order to file false tax refunds.

These would be used to pay off their personal expenses and furnish their criminal lifestyle, totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They would accomplish this by using police databases to look up personal information on those who seemed vulnerable – often the elderly – to being defrauded by the dirty cops.

The kicker, however, is that Eric Houston, a detective, often chose those who were in some way related to the crimes he committed.

Even after having to suffer crime at the hands of everyday criminals, many would then be subjected to detective Houston’s conniving theft.

It would later be discovered that of all the people whose names Houston had ran through the police database, about 4,600 had fraudulent tax returns filed in their names.

While it is difficult to determine how many the Houstons were responsible for, it is likely very high.

Though the Houstons are the highest profile criminals in this case, they also enlisted the help of another officer, a civilian police employee, and an informant.

In short, they used the entire hierarchy of the police department to operate with impunity, stealing from those they were meant to protect for their own personal gain.

These two officers are the lowest scum of the earth, defrauding thousands of people, many of whose lives were likely destroyed by the theft of their life savings.

It would seem that instead of trying to fight it, the Tampa police department were likely a leading cause of the city’s reputation as tax and identity fraud capital of America.

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Max Chantha is a writer and investigative journalist interested in covering incidences of government injustice, at home and abroad. He is a current university student studying Global Studies and Professional Writing. Check out Max Chantha: An Independent Blog for more of his work.