Federal prosecutors have filed charges against four Allentown residents for allegedly defrauding the government.
From around June 2011 to about April 2012, Liberado Peralta, his children Jose and Florentina Peralta along with Fayez Antonios and other co-conspirators known and unknown to prosecutors, used stolen identities from Puerto Rico on tax forms, according to court documents.
The defendants submitted close to 111 claims seeking a total of at least $702,583.
Prosecutors said the IRS mailed out close to 400 tax refund checks to different addresses chosen by the defendants inside and outside of Allentown, costing taxpayers $255,704.
Prosecutors said the defendants also cashed fake refund checks and refund anticipation loans through businesses that either they or their friends owned and operated, like the Xpress Auto Sales shop in Allentown, Catty Check Cashing in Catasauqua and Alta Check Cashing in Emmaus.
The Peraltas and Fayez Antonios now face several charges of fraud as well as identity theft.
Prosecutors said they are still seeking others who were involved in this scam.