An identity theft
ring in Jacksonville, Florida, recently took a big hit when 17 people were arrested in connection with numerous crimes.
State, local and federal authorities worked to round up the crooks, who ripped off at least 185 people for more than $500,000 in fraudulent tax returns, for which the IRS paid an estimated $340,000, according to a report from the Florida Times-Union
. The scheme originally began with an employee at Citibank stealing customers' identities, which were then used to create the bogus tax documents.
"I can tell you this case is one of the largest ID thefts we have investigated," Florida State Attorney Angela Corey told the newspaper. "We found victims that are children, we found victims that are deceased."
The plot began to unravel when the criminals cashed multiple tax return checks into a single account at a small credit union, the report said. Many of these deposits came from outside the Jacksonville area. Adam Levin
, chairman for IDentity Theft 911, has a blog about the difficulties these types of fraud pose for consumers.
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