MANHATTAN — Tax Day was pay day for these accused thieves.
A Brooklyn man recruited a network of Kazakhstani students to help cash in on the stolen identities of hundreds of unemployed Americans by filing phony tax returns, authorities said.
Petr Murmylyuk, 31, allegedly targeted more than 300 people using a fake job placement site and roped in $450,000 using falsified wage information, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
"At a time when many unemployed New Yorkers are turning to the Internet to find work, this defendant is charged with preying upon online job seekers and tricking them into divulging personal information," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.
The website, www.jobcentral2.net, claimed to be
Murmylyuk is suspected of using the information he collected to forge tax returns, claiming $3,500 to $6,500 for each victim through an e-filing service. He was able to collect on 108 returns, prosecutors said.
Using Russian-language social networking sites, the web-savvy scammer then recruited a network of 11 Kazakh students who were in the United States and set up bank accounts to collect the refunds, authorities said.
Many of the students have since left the country and were indicted in absentia.
Murmlyuk was charged with scheme to defraud, money laundering, grand larceny and computer trespass, according to the DA's office.