“This was a very complex scam,” Three sisters face 90 felony charges for filing fraudulent tax returns

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Three sister from Wisconsin are facing 90 felony charges for allegedly filing fraudulent income tax returns.

Authorities told WITI the trio are part of a scheme to defraud the state of close to $1 million.

Sharon Staten, Angela Staten and Tawanda Staten are being prosecuted for their roles in a scheme where 2,000 fraudulent tax claims were filed between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012.

"This was a very complex scam," Stephanie Marquis, with the Department of Revenue, told WITI. "They were using real information to file the fake returns."

Authorities say officers uncovered hundreds of stolen identities inside the sisters' homes.

Investigators say the sisters tried to get $960,175 in tax refunds, but the agency blocked $725,785 in the fake claims.

Sharon Staten faces 22 felony counts related to identity theft and fraudulent claims. Tawanda Staten faces 28 felony charges for identity theft, fraudulent claims and false representation.

Angela Staten faces 40 felony charges for identity theft, fraudulent claims and false representation.

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