Dozens of Long Beach gang members were indicted Monday on suspicion of stealing the identities of hundreds of Californians and using them to steal millions of dollars worth of tax returns, the state attorney general’s office announced.
Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris’ office has charged 32 suspected members of the Long Beach Insane Crip gang and its associates with more than 800 felonies, including 283 counts of criminal conspiracy, 226 counts of grand theft and nearly 300 counts of identity theft. Twenty-two of the gang members have been taken into custody, Harris’ office said.
Authorities say the gang would text message their victims’ personal information to the head of the crime ring, who would file fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. The group would load the refunds onto pre-paid debit cards, which were distributed among the group, authorities said.
Evidence of the plot were discovered three years ago when a Long Beach police detective investigating a crime rampage found personal identifying information for Californians at the home of a gang associate, police said.
Ten people named in the indictment remain outstanding, authorities said.
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