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34 charged in alleged $22M tax fraud scheme

Handcuffs photo
U.S. Air Force | Public Domain via Wikimedia

Thirty-four people face charges in a multimillion dollar tax fraud scheme said to be based in Battle Creek.

Officials say the scheme spanned seven years, ultimately netting $22 million from falsified federal tax returns. Close to 4,700 returns were said to be filed from 2007 to 2014.

The charges were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney's Western District of Michigan office in Grand Rapids.

The office says all 34 defendants are Battle Creek residents. 

Derrick Gibson is charged as the alleged ringleader of the scheme. Victims were said to include Michigan Department of Corrections prisoners and employees, as well as patients and staff at the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The investigation involved multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Michigan State Police.

The defendants face up to 10 years in prison and an up to $250,000 fine if convicted.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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