ANCHORAGE - It all started out as a drug trafficking case led by Anchorage police, now, 11 people are charged in relation to a multi-million dollar tax fraud scheme.
Federal prosecutors allege the organized crime ring filed 19 million dollars in fraudulent tax refund claims.
Laptops seized by investigators contained 2 thousand 6 hundred stolen identities.
The defendants, 7 who are in the country illegally, were able to receive IRS refunds using a number of methods, including stealing the mail of up to 30 Anchorage and Eagle River residents in order to file false tax returns.
The U.S. Attorney's office says a corrupt Wells Fargo bank employee in Anchorage, Hilda Hernandez McMullen, helped set up bank accounts for the defendants and negotiates the refund checks and forged U.S. Treasury checks.
The indictment alleges the group stole the names and social security numbers of people from Puerto Rico. They used the information to obtain Alaskan identification from the DMV.
Six of the defendants are also facing charges releated to trafficking cocaine.
The defendants involved in the scheme are citizens of the Dominican Republic or Mexico. Seven are in the U.S. illegally.