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Woman’s Facebook photo of her money bath draws tax scrutiny

Thank god for wealthy braggarts.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

We’ve all thought about playing Scrooge McDuck, and bragging about your life on social media sites like Facebook is practically required. Those two impulses happened to collide disastrously for Jeane Napoles, 23, whose photo of herself bathing in euros sparked a tax evasion inquiry.

Napoles’ mother, Janet Napoles, is already awaiting trial in the biggest fraud case the Philippines has ever seen. She’s accused of collaborating with members of parliament to embezzle $232 million. You’d think it might have occurred to her daughter that flaunting one’s opulent lifestyle online does more than sow envy among the have-nots. Now her home country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue will be taking a much closer look at how the fashion design student bankrolled her luxury properties in the U.S., lavish parties, and high-end clothes.

According to Kim Jacinto-Henares, chief of the Philippine bureau, Napoles was busted because she shared evidence of her wealth so freely on a Facebook profile that has since been deactivated. As we all know by this point, the Internet is written in ink, not pencil, and the images will continue to circulate as damning evidence.

Henares also said that Napoles, a registered U.S. taxpayer, hasn’t filed a return there since 2008, though her liabilities “were calculated to be $744,000 for the last two years alone.” We can only hope that her money bath, as unhygienic as it seems to the casual observer, left her feeling refreshed and clean. It’s the last one she’ll be taking for a while.

Photo by Shutter-muse/Flickr

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