Facebook Wedding Photo Busts a Clueless Tax Cheat

If you've read one story about how someone posted something they shouldn't have on Facebook, you probably think you've read them all. At least that's what I tend to think -- like, how can someone possibly outdo the stupidest Facebook blunders we've already heard about? Somehow, though, these stories keep rolling in, and each one is a little crazier than the last.

Take the recent example of a 45-year-old British man named Heath Joynson, who collected over $1,500 worth of taxpayers' money through housing and council tax handouts on the basis that he was single and living alone. The only teeny, tiny problem with poor lonely Mr. Joynson's self-described status as a struggling bachelor who needed public assistance to get by? The WEDDING PHOTO he posted on Facebook.



It seems Joynson came under investigation in 2011 after housing officers heard that despite his claims of being single, he was actually married and living with a wife. Fraud investigators began looking at Joynson's social networking profiles, where they immediately discovered a photo of the happy couple smiling as they signed their marriage register.

Sadly, husband and wife eventually separated due to Joynson's alleged heroin use, but not before Joynson pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his entitlement to benefits between September 20, 2010 and January 9, 2011.

According to a city council spokesperson,

The offender tried a host of tricks and lies to avoid his responsibilities. But our determined investigation team found pictures of his marriage ceremony on his wife’s Facebook page. Now he is paying the price of deception and we are sending out a strong message that we will piece together information from a range of sources and expose people who are defrauding the public purse.

Honestly, I am never going to stop being amazed at how clueless people can be with social media. This is as idiotic as the deadbeat dad who weaseled his way out of paying child support for his three kids, but posted a Facebook photo of himself gleefully lying on a pile of cash. People are getting busted by Facebook all the time -- for cheating on their spouses, calling in sick to work, committing crimes, and in one particularly ridiculous case, forgetting to log out after breaking into someone's house, stealing her jewelry, and using her computer to check his status.

I'm not sure if this Joynson guy figured his account was off-limits to investigators or if he just never even considered the possible downsides of sharing his wedding photo when he was collecting cash for being single, but he's now officially part of a not-so-elite club of Facebook Fools. Let his bad choices be a warning to us all.

Why do you think people keep getting busted for things they share on Facebook?

Image via adamjonfuller/Flickr

Read More >