New charges added in $9 million tax collection scam | Arkansas Blog

New charges added in $9 million tax collection scam

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The U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock announced today an expansion of charges in a case first announced  last year in which people impersonating IRS agents tricked people into sending them almost $9 million through wire cash transfers.

The office announced the filing of a superseding indictment and the arrests of seven more people in a nationwide scheme that included Arkansas victims.

An Arkansas grand jury indicted 10 people April 4 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Two of them — Jeniffer Valerino Nuñez and Dennis Delgado Caballero, who'd been arrested last May and remain in custody — were also charged with 21 counts of wire fraud. They were originally indicted in June 2016.

The seven new arrests were of Cuban nationals who live in Florida. One person remains at large.

Callers victimized thousands by claiming to be IRS agents and threatening legal action to collect alleged debts. They persuaded victims to wire money using MoneyGram, Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer, and other wire-transfer services.

A news release noted that no legitimate IRS employee would ask for cash payment by wire transfer or by prepaid debit cards.

Investigators have identified 7,797 victims in 29 states and the District of Columbia for losses totaling $8.95 million.

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