Former tax official accused of changing, rerouting refunds

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico state tax official faces charges of wire fraud and other crimes accusing him of stealing nearly $690,000 by altering taxpayers’ refunds and routing them to his own bank accounts.

George Martinez of Albuquerque was arrested Tuesday on 42 counts each of wire fraud and identity theft plus six counts of money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Martinez between May 2011 and July 2018 allegedly used his position as head of the Taxation and Revenue Department’s questionable refund unit to manipulate the system.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Martinez who could comment on the allegations.