{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m pretty sad right now- I learned that my dad committed 529 fraud against my siblings. He sent overpayments to universities, received reimbursement checks in my siblings names, and then forged my siblings signature and deposited to his account. My sister has $70k in student loans. My brother likely will have many too. My sister is owed at least $22k already, and that’s just from the records I found. Has anyone ever dealt with this? Don’t want to go legal if avoidable", "post_id": "609ab4fc61d7c8002a21466b", "reply_count": 93, "vote_count": 10, "bowl_id": "59064a3cb12379001006592c", "bowl_name": "Personal Investment Chatter" }

I’m pretty sad right now- I learned that my dad committed 529 fraud against my siblings. He sent overpayments to universities, received reimbursement checks in my siblings names, and then forged my siblings signature and deposited to his account. My sister has $70k in student loans. My brother likely will have many too. My sister is owed at least $22k already, and that’s just from the records I found. Has anyone ever dealt with this? Don’t want to go legal if avoidable

likefunny
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It is your father and let's be honest it is his money, just leave it alone. Your siblings will get their degrees, get wonderful jobs and pay back their loans just like the rest of us. Perhaps your father once upon a time genuinely wanted to contribute to their education but later in life felt your siblings were ungrateful or unworthy of his sacrifices, so he has changed his mind. Or perhaps he has financial difficulties now and needs the money himself. At the end of the day no matter what method he used the money was earned by your father so it is his. Let this go don't ruin your relationship with your father and more over don't ruin your father's life. It is his money!

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Your dad is the one who opened the 529 plan and hence probably the owner. That’s usually the case. This isn’t your money. These funds are funds he saved for your education. Nonetheless, these funds are his funds. People often navigate the extremes of college education expenses by shuffling private and public loans, financial aid (if available) and savings. Do you understand how hard is for a parent these days to send 3 kids to college? You have no idea what this man is going through! Regardless of the circumstances, you are in school! He is doing his duty which by the way he isn’t obligated to. The burden is on you! Get education by financing it while working in college. Some of us here had 3 jobs while in college and took 100% private loans.

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I agree there are definitely fact patterns that would make it reasonable but the check forging is hard to justify

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If he’s the one who put it in (as usually is the case in a 529 with parents contributing) idk what’s wrong with him taking it out from a morals perspective. Albeit the way in which he went about it is bad if true. Don’t snitch on your dad , that’s just weird the man gave you life. Plus it appears he didn’t do It to you so let your siblings deal with it.

likefunny

Way i see it, he did two things wrong: forged signature and monkey tax business. And that part is indeed wrong. But he hasn’t cheated his kids like some of you are claiming. He didn’t owe it to the kids. That money is dad’s saving (granted for a special purpose and with tax incentives for the purpose) and not kids’ right. Also, y’all overlooking is that the university is only paying back the overpayment amount. Pay attention to the “over” part. Say the tuition was $50k, he paid uni $70k and uni gave back check for $20k (in his daughter’s name which he forged to put in hi account). Way i see it, while let authorities deal with his forgery and monkeying with taxes, the kid should be thankful that the dad paid $50k for her education. That itself wasn’t owed to them, forget the full $70k in my example. Stinks of entitlement on OP/siblings’ part.

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It's your dad's money not your siblings. Even if it was in a 529.

likesmart

The dad is paying the correct taxes and penalties on the withdrawal. He told me. Everything is fine and entitled kids can move on.

likefunny

Are you upset because your siblings have student loans? If so, it’s your parents money, they don’t owe you anything and if they do decide to help at all that’s their decision. It’s your responsibility to pay for your own college education not your parents. If you’re upset because he committed fraud and forged their signatures, yea that would make sense lol. But the financial aspect just sounds entitled in my opinion. Like why do so many people feel they’re entitled to their parents money to pay for college? I will pay for most of my kid’s college education, but it’s a personal choice not because they are entitled to it. My parents didn’t help me with a dime and honestly.. I would have felt bad asking them to, and certainly didn’t expect anything. If you decide to go borrow $70k for your college education that’s your debt, not your parents.

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Well said!!! 👏

What exactly are you concerned about? This seems like it’s an issue for the IRS to sort out with your dad. Not sure why you would involve legal; as others have mentioned, your siblings don’t have any entitlement to the funds unless they directly contributed money to the 529

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Why should any of the 529 ownership matter? He forged signatures on checks his kids were on!!!!!!!!!! After he gave money to the school, the school has no obligation to the father. When they write that check, they are writing it to the student on the account not the parent.

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First of all no one has anything other than sketchy facts. If as everyone is assuming, he is committing tax fraud and forgery, he is a scumbag. That does not change the fact that is was his money. It is not to the detriment of the kids for him to take it. He potentially did it in an illegal manner and I fail to see how anyone would assume that a kid whose father forged their signature is an accomplice. I am am done discussing this without further facts since this is all speculation anyway

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I thought EY did audit but sounds like EY1 is all about gains and not legality. OP no real advice here. It's a very personal decision what you do. We don't know your relationship with your dad. The family could have a talk about it but I would suggest having clear goals and focusing on facts rather than pointing fingers to keep the conversation on track.

likesmart

A1 you need to read my first response again. I shared with OP that it's a personal choice but a family discussion could happen. It's unclear what OP wants to accomplish at this point. My second post was to clarify what ethical issues I saw.

What it boils down to is would you report your dad for tax fraud

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This whole thread reads of privileged undertones... can't relate. But I'll say this, mind the business that pays YOU.

likefunny

Did he contribute the money to the 529s or did you and siblings? I am still confused at what he actually did.

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Speaking as the parent of a college age child for whom I set up a 529. I am the account owner and can do whatever I want with the funds. There may be some tax fraud going on but if he is the account owner, he really owes the children nothing. Not sure what he was actually doing though.

likesmart

This is fraud against the government, not against you or your siblings.

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I agree that is illegal. However unless there are other forgeries, this does not financially affect the kid. He is taking money from them that they never had until he started taking from his 529.

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Moral is, don’t go digging if you don’t want to find something.

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The fact that your dad has to break the law and forge signature to get his money back says as much about you as it does him. He had zero confidence that you'd give that money back if he asked so he decided to break the law.

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How can you possibly come to that conclusion based on the facts. Possible but quite a strange assumption

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It sounds like he committed tax fraud by depositing the reimbursement checks into a personal checking account vs depositing them back into the tax advantaged 529 account?

likehelpful

Dude/dudette AC1 - no one is denying and justifying the signature forgery part. He is guilty of that. But his kids are not “victims” unless, they owed taxes on that money that they didn’t receive.

Sounds like tax fraud to me. Could report him to the IRS

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Have your dad pay you off. Use the money to fund your own 529 for your kids and then do the same thing in 18 years. This is how genetics work.

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That assumes the dad intends to pay the entire cost. It appears he does not want to do that. No requirement that he does. Up to him.

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I would just like to point out the fact that you are statistically better off never paying taxes due to the IRS’ near minimal reviews. Just saying...

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@IBM - I agree, although my brother was audited in college for not declaring tips as income. I’d also assume people with investment accounts get audited more frequently, since brokerages send capital gains statements to the IRS

Is it wrong and unethical? Yes. But who turns in their own dad?

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For fraudulently getting his own money back?

Not sure of your relationship with your dad. But it sounds like greed caused him to make a major mistake in life. Learn from it, but don’t banish him. I mean unless he’s always been an ass. Let the law takes its course. Express your disappointment. In the end remember he has no obligation to pay for school, however great an idea that sounds to you and your siblings. But he made this legal bed and will have to lie in it. Don’t punish yourself. Life is too short.

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Is your dad deep in debt or dealing with money problems? You may have bigger issues here.

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