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Long Beach gang targeted over alleged tax fraud scheme

Authorities arrested 11 people and seized piles of cash, guns and vehicles Thursday following an investigation into an alleged $1-million tax fraud scheme operated by a Long Beach street gang.

Thursday's arrests were the result of "tedious investigative work," and targeted the Baby Insane Crips, as well as family members and acquaintances, according to Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. Gang members allegedly used stolen Social Security numbers and other personal information to file false tax returns and then funneled refunds to family members and acquaintances.

The operation involved more than 200 local and federal authorities.

McDonnell told reporters that the money was used to purchase guns, cars and electronics, as well as a powerboat and trailer. “We have a lot of people who have no employment living some very lavish lifestyles based on the thefts and fraud,” he said.

The gang was the focus of another multi-agency operation in June, involving a series of shootings and one homicide. That investigation, which resulted in the arrest of 16 gang members, turned up information on the alleged tax fraud scheme, authorities said.

In Thursday's operation, officers from the IRS, U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service helped to serve more than 30 search warrants in Long Beach, Carson, Los Angeles and other cities. Those arrested were booked on suspicion of numerous crimes, including identity theft, possession of stolen property, illegal possession of firearms and for having outstanding warrants.

At least eight children were taken into protective custody as well, McDonnell said. 

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-Ruben Vives

Twitter.com/latvives


 
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