Federal authorities have charged a New Jersey man with using the identification of a deceased tax preparer to fill out fraudulent tax returns.

New Jersey's U.S. Attorney announced Thursday that 46-year-old Todd P. Halpern of Livingston faces tax fraud and identity theft charges.

A message left for Halpern's attorney was not immediately returned.

Prosecutors say Halpern prepared and electronically filed 657 fraudulent federal income tax returns from 2009 through 2010. He allegedly used the identification number of a dead tax return preparer from A & V Financial of Guttenberg, a business that Halpern purchased in 2008.

Halpern's also accused of using stolen taxpayer identities to receive tax refunds directly into his personal bank account.

Prosecutors say Halpern's prior criminal record prevented him from obtaining his own tax preparer ID.

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