7 Jan 2008

Number under fraud investigation in American Samoa grows to 100

11:43 am on 7 January 2008

The number of local residents in American Samoa now under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for possible fraud has increased to 100.

The investigation, which began last year, centres on individuals who filed for benefits that they were not entitled to as local residents.

Tax Office Manager, Melvin Joseph, says investigators estimate that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of federal refunds were fraudulently obtained.

"I've been in touch with the fraud detection unit in Ogden, Utah and they are definitely working to detect people that have filed returns with the IRS where they should not have, and where they have claimed the earned income credit which they are not entitled to, and where they have claimed the additional child tax credit where they have also claimed it here."