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Fake Tax Returns Net $4 Million, Charges Filed

IDENTITY THEFT

April 14, 2010

Wired reports that two men are being charged with 35 counts of wire fraud, 35 counts of identity theft, one count of unauthorized computer access and two counts of mail fraud for the theft of about $4 million in tax returns. According to the report, the IRS processes electronically-filed tax returns without verifying the taxpayer's information--including whether they are alive--and will then direct deposit any requisite refund into a specified bank account. The thieves used this system between 2005 and 2008 to file more than 1,900 fake returns, duping the IRS into depositing about $4 million into more than 170 bank accounts they had opened with fake names and Social Security numbers.  
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