– A U.S. Postal Service employee in Alabama was arrested on Friday after she was indicted on more than 50 federal charges in connection with a $1.5 million identity theft tax refund scheme. Elizabeth Grant, a USPS mail carrier of Seale, Alabama, became involved in a stolen identity fraud tax refund scheme along with several co-conspirators in 2013, according to Federal Court filings. Grant and her co-conspirators allegedly obtained stolen identification information from several avenues, including an Alabama state database, the filings revealed. Grant’s co-conspirators allegedly prepared and filed false returns for tax year 2012, before the co-conspirators directed the tax refund checks from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to be sent to addresses along Grant’s mail route. During the entirety of the scheme, Grant and her co-conspirators allegedly filed more than 700 false tax returns, claiming more than $1.5 million in refunds. Grant faces one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, 14 counts of mail fraud, 14 counts of embezzling mail and 14 counts of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Grant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy charge. In addition, Grant could serve 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, five years in prison for each charge of embezzling mail and two years for each count of aggravated identity theft. The case was investigated by the IRS Division of Criminal Investigations and the USPS Office of the Inspector General. A February, 2014 report from the Boston Globe found that 1.63 million taxpayers were affected by identity theft in 2013, up from 270,518 three years earlier. Months earlier, an audit from the U.S. Treasury Department found that if the problem was not corrected the IRS could be responsible for issuing $21 billion in fraudulent returns over a five-year period through 2017.