HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Bergen County prosecutors charged an Orange woman with fraudulently collecting nearly $11,000 in tax returns through identity theft as part of a national ring.
At least 10 more bogusly filed returns were destined for accounts controlled by 23-year-old Qyiidirah Williams when investigators from the White Collar Crimes Unit cracked the case, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said Friday.
The detectives also "determined that the activity was diverse and spread out among individuals involved in the illicit activity who were based throughout the United States," Grewal said.
"The victims’ personal identifying information had been utilized to complete fraudulent US Federal tax returns using internet based tax filing and return software," the prosecutor said.
"During the course of this ongoing investigation, BCPO White Collar Crimes Unit detectives tracked the fraudulent returns through the IRS documents to the internet based tax filing and return companies where the forms were submitted via computer," he said.
"In this case, some of the returns were sent through third party banks and tax groups which receive the return from the IRS in order to deduct any fees associated with the return before the money is forwarded to the taxpayer," Grewal said.
"The completed return minus the fees is then wired or direct deposited to the receiving account which is identified by the taxpayer, or in this case the perpetrators of the fraud, by routing and account number during the internet based tax filing and return process," he said.
Williams opened two bank accounts last March to receive the returns, Grewal said.
"One account received a return of $3,900.69 which was the subject of the initial BCPO investigation and the other account received a return of $7,059.02," he said.
"The second return was ultimately identified as a fraudulently obtained tax return which was filed using the stolen personal identifying information of a victim from Virginia," the prosecutor said.
She withdrew the money a short time later, he said.
Detective obtained a warrant for Williams' arrest last Friday. She surrendered on Friday.
Williams was being held on $50,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with computer-related theft and theft by deception. An arraignment was scheduled for this Monday.
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