Investigating this crime is like going fishing, Crumpler said. When you first drop your line into the water, you catch what looks to be a really big fish, the biggest fish you ever saw. But then if you keep casting your line, you reel in more fish the same size and even bigger.
Court documents show that when investigators searched Wilson's Wimauma home in September, they seized at least nine computers, four wireless Internet hot spot devices, four cellphones, diamond jewelry, a handgun, a receipt for gold teeth, wigs, and designer sunglasses, bags and shoes from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Calvin Klein, Fendi, Cartier and Christian Louboutin.
They also found evidence of tax fraud: debit cards, medical records, ledgers with personal information -- at least one ledger labeled "1st Lady" -- and stacks of money held together with rubber bands, according to the records.
Federal agents also searched three storage units linked to Larry. Inside, they found two customized Corvettes -- one was green with a Sprite logo and the other wrapped in chrome -- three laptop computers, medical records and ledgers with personal information for more than 1,600 people, records show.
So far, authorities have not said where they think the pair got all that personal information.
But the affidavits say Wilson and Larry are suspected of filing scores of fraudulent tax returns while staying at Tampa-area hotels.
The pair stayed at Chase Suites hotel at Rocky Point from April 18-25 last year, paying for their stay with a debit card that had been loaded with a fraudulent tax refund, the affidavits state. That refund was obtained through a return that had been filed from a Red Roof Inn in Tampa.
On its website, the Chase Suites hotel listed amenities including private entrances for guests, large work desks and complimentary wireless Internet access.
While Wilson and Larry were at Chase Suites, a total of 60 fraudulent returns were filed from the hotel, all reporting undistributed long-term capital gains credits of $9,987 and a taxpayer occupation of cook or sales. All but one listed a Dallas address. All of these factors are common to fraudulent returns linked to Wilson.
Hotel housekeeping staff members told investigators they remembered the two guests who didn't let housekeepers into the room their entire stay. Larry would open the door slightly so the staff could hand him extra towels. The hotel manager remembered Wilson wearing the "Rashia" medallion.
A total of 61 fraudulent returns were filed from the Red Roof Inn between March 31 and May 8. All of them reported either undistributed long-term capital gains credits of $9,987 or refundable Hope education credits of $1,000.
Also, 48 of the returns listed a Dallas address, with the remaining listing Tampa-area addresses. Fifty-three of the returns listed cook or sales as the taxpayer's occupation.
It's not clear how much of a role these particular credits played in Tampa's tax-refund fraud epidemic. But officials say refundable tax credits have long been vulnerable to abuse.
In early 2011, according to the affidavits, an informant said Wilson boasted about being the premier "drop girl," a term adopted by women involved in the tax-refund fraud scheme. Another informant told detectives that Wilson offered instruction in how to file tax forms to defeat the IRS filtering systems.
Among their tools were fictitious tax credits.
A nonrefundable tax credit can reduce the amount of taxes owed to zero. A refundable tax credit -- such as the earned income credit for working people with low to moderate income -- can reduce tax liability then generate a payment from the government for any remaining credit amount.
For example, if a filer had to pay $500 in income taxes after all deductions are considered, a nonrefundable credit of $2,000 could reduce the taxes owed to zero. A refundable $2,000 credit would result in the government also sending the filer the $1,500 balance.
This makes refundable credits appealing to crooks.
"Without proper controls, billions of taxpayer dollars are vulnerable to erroneous claims and fraudulent tax schemes," the inspector general for the IRS wrote in an October report, which led the IRS to announce it was tightening controls over the credits.