MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Seven Minnesotans are accused of participating in a ring that stole consumers' banking information, passed counterfeit checks and collected fraudulent tax refunds — in the amount of more than $1 million.
The Star Tribune reports (http://strib.mn/1w2mnUC ) the alleged operation targeted at least 15 financial institutions and gas station and drugstore chains across Minnesota.
According to court documents, federal and state authorities say the ring operated under a Mafia-style hierarchy, with a "captain" directing runners who carried out various acts of fraud at banks or businesses.
Authorities said members were adept at spotting weak links in banking practices and able to easily obtain printing equipment and paper stocks to create legitimate looking checks.
U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said Thursday's indictments represent the tip of a much larger operation.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com