Tax Fraud Suspect Wanted by IRS; Local Man Part of Elaborate Scheme to Steal Millions in Refunds

A California fugitive caught after a years-long "cat-and-mouse hunt" had defrauded the IRS of millions of dollars in a high-tech refund-stealing scheme, federal authorities now say.

The fugitive, Daniel Rigmaiden, 29, of Santa Clara, was caught in August 2008, but one of his alleged accomplices, Phoenix resident Ransom Marion Carter III, 43, is still on the lam.

Carter and other accomplices helped Rigmaiden steal the identities of taxpayers, both living and deceased, then filed fraudulent electronic tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The IRS, FBI, and U.S. Postal Service teamed up to investigate the crimes, which began in 2005.

All told, officials believe that the fraudsters filed about 2,000 bogus tax returns that sought more than $4 million in refunds, though the suspects didn't collect all of it.

Over the course of three years, the agencies knew Rigmaiden only by fictitious names and his handle of "Hacker." He was caught after a brief foot chase on August 3, 2008; a multi-count indictment already had been served up under his aliases. In Rigmaiden's apartment, agents found $116,000 in cash and more than $208,000 in gold coins.

The case was sealed until last month to give Rigmaiden time to consider cooperating with the government. Apparently, he didn't play ball.

Rigmaiden's been charged with 74 counts related to the alleged crimes, and Carter is facing five counts.

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