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Florida Student Aid Accounts Used In ID Theft

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Fourteen students and former students of Miami Dade College were arrested in connection to a tax refund fraud scheme. Accounts used by students to receive financial aid were used in the scheme.

Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said Tuesday that 21 people have been charged in to total in connection to the scheme.Of those, 17 have been arrested and four are still missing. The students were using their Higher One aid accounts to deposit fraudulent tax refunds.

Ferrer said the scheme involved $1.9 million in intended loss to the Internal Revenue Service, with nearly $500,000 paid out. There were at least 644 victims of identity theft in these cases.

Most of those arrested face between two and 10 years in prison if convicted.

Miami-Dade is cooperating with the federal government in their investigation. It's believed the scam is being done at other campuses across Florida.

The IRS said Florida, and particularly South Florida, is the nation's leading hotbed for ID theft used for tax fraud.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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