By Casey Grove, Anchorage Daily News
While investigating Anchorage cocaine dealers, authorities discovered a massive identity theft and tax fraud operation that illegally claimed about $19 million in federal tax refunds,prosecutors said.
U.S. Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler said Thursday it’s unclear exactly how much cash the federal government paid out to the defendants: seven illegal immigrants, three living in the country legally and a corrupt Wells Fargo bank employee, the U.S. citizen, who helped the alleged fraudsters. The 10 residents of Mexico and the Dominican Republic, working with a United States citizen, sent at least some of the money they allegedly stole from the U.S. Treasury out of the country, according to an indictment handed up this week.
“It’s a very large tax fraud case,and what I would call organized crime,” Loeffler said Thursday. “This is certainly the biggest (tax) case we’ve brought down in Alaska.”