Top Stories
Top Stories

Grand jury indicts 16 in identity theft, tax return scam

Zmeel | Getty Images

A federal grand jury in western Pennsylvania has indicted 16 people—most from the New York City area—in a wire fraud and identity theft ring that prosecutors say caused the Internal Revenue Service to pay more than $10 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh and Erie say the group used stolen identities to submit tax returns claiming $38 million in refunds, more than $10 million of which was actually paid.

Read MoreSeven signs you're avictim of identity theft

In all, the group stole more than 11,000 people's identities, and also used the information to open nearly 3,500 phony bank accounts involving more than 440 financial institutions.

Most of those involved face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though two key members face more than 36 years each.