- Associated Press - Friday, December 14, 2018

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California attorney has pleaded guilty to helping launder money in a $14 million-dollar tax fraud scheme.

Arthur Charchian of Glendale entered pleas Friday to federal charges.

Prosecutors say the schemers stole identities and used them to open bank accounts to stash some of the $14 million in refunds they got from filing thousands of phony tax returns.

Charchian became involved when banks began flagging suspicious accounts.

A plea agreement says Charchian laundered more than a half-million dollars from the tax scam through his clients’ bank accounts.

Charchian is one of 17 people charged in connection with the scheme. Eleven have pleaded guilty.

Charchian’s attorney, Mark Werksman, tells City News Service that his client didn’t know he was involved in a criminal scheme.

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