Federal prosecutors in Atlanta, as part of a continuing investigation, have charged or arrested nine people in the last three weeks on charges of stolen identity tax refund fraud.
But a Tucker man who was indicted with them in November remains at large. Christopher Edwards, 41, was accused by a federal grand jury of conspiring to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from the use of stolen personal identification information.
The indictment, which remained sealed until Jan. 18, 2013, says the men filed hundreds of false federal income tax returns using online tax filing websites, and directed tax refunds to fictitious business bank accounts established to further the scheme, according to U. S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
“Identity theft is a crime that can take many forms, all of which take a financial and emotional toll on its victims," Yates said in a statement Friday. "But stealing someone’s identity – their name, date of birth, or social security number – for the purpose of filing a fraudulent tax return, causes even greater harm because it can significantly delay the victim from receiving his or her legitimate tax refund, and it costs the Treasury millions of dollars in lost revenue every year. The investigation and prosecution of tax-related identity theft during this tax filing season is a priority in this district.”