By Staff Reporter
Seven Zimbabweans were on Friday charged by US prosecutors for orchestrating a massive tax fraud scheme that used identity theft to steal as much as US$10 million.
According to federal prosecutors the men stole personal identifiers from taxpayers, filed hundreds of phony tax returns and then pocketed millions of dollars in returns. Some of the money was wired directly to Zimbabwe and some was used to purchase expensive vehicles later shipped to Zimbabwe.
A key figure in the scheme is believed to be Kudzaiishe Marimbire, who used his tax preparation service, Express Refund Center on Colerain Avenue in Cincinnati, to mastermind the fraud. Prosecutors said he used his business to file fake tax returns from 2007 to 2010, using the names of unsuspecting taxpayers.
The others charged on Friday are: Hlomera Mabhande, Johanes Tagarisa, Kudzaishe Bungu, Tawanda Marimbire, Andrew Bere and Julius Marimbire. Only Bungu was in US federal custody by Friday. The others remain fugitives and federal authorities believe they may have fled to Zimbabwe.
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