Federal authorities have charged six people with operating a scheme in which fake or stolen identities were used to file and collect tax returns.

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Five people from New Jersey and a Florida woman are charged with cashing 384 fraudulent tax refund checks totaling $2.5 million over a three-year period. They were due to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court.

Officials say social security numbers and other personal identifying information were stolen mostly from people in Puerto Rico, whose residents have social security numbers but don't file federal income tax returns. The information was used to file federal income taxes that guaranteed hundreds of thousands in refunds.

Authorities said fake documents such as New Jersey driver's licenses and Social Security cards were also created for the scheme.

 

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