Noel Cuello, a New York City fraud investigator, was caught earlier this month for, you guessed it, fraud. Along with six collaborators, Cuello operated a multimillion-dollar identity-theft and tax-fraud racket.
Cuello used his job in Manhattan's Human Resources Administration to steal the identities of children and then exploit their Social Security numbers to file false tax returns. It took five years for the federal government to bring him down.
Along with his collaborators, Cuello faces charges including wire fraud, identity theft and many other crimes.
The system that Cuello and his accomplices used to steal money is complex and scary.
Here's how Cuello and his crew made their illegal cash, according to the New York Post:
Between at 2009 and spring 2014, through a Bronx tax-preparation business in the Bronx, the defendants and co-conspirators allegedly charged customers a cash fee to prepare and file tax returns that falsely claimed that the taxpayer had one or more minor dependents, allowing them to take advantage of tax breaks.
The business filed thousands of bogus returns, resulting in refunds of millions of dollars, the feds say.