14 busted in alleged tax refund fraud scheme

New Jersey news from Eyewitness News

September 19, 2012 9:47:58 AM PDT
Federal officials in New Jersey have arrested 14 people in what they say was a long-running tax refund fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says the scheme is one of the largest ever uncovered and involved more than 8,000 bogus income tax returns seeking more than $65 million in illegal refunds.

The defendants are charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and theft of government property. It's estimated the scheme created $11 million in losses.

Fishman says many of the bogus tax returns were filed using identities stolen from residents of Puerto Rico. The co-conspirators also allegedly bribed mail carriers who delivered the refund checks.

The defendants come from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan.

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