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How Thieves Steal Billions in Fake Tax Refunds
CNBC.com | January 28, 2013 | 01:36 PM EST

FINKSBURG, MD — The nursery in Terry and Stephanie McClung's house in suburban Baltimore seems frozen in time. A display case in the hallway is filled with memories of their daughter, Kaitlyn, who died in May, 2009, of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at the age of five months.

"She was the best little girl anyone could ask for," Stephanie McClung said. "She had the fattest little cheeks, and she had the best laugh."

"We had the ideal American family, a boy, a girl and a dog and we were happy," Terry said.

"And that life ended the day she died," Stephanie said.

Alongside the pain the McClungs still feel nearly four years after the death of their daughter is a feeling of bewilderment and even violation over what happened next.

They filed their 2008 income tax return, claiming Kaitlyn as a dependent. But the IRS rejected the return.

"The dependent's Social Security number cannot be used more than once in a tax return. It also cannot appear in more than one tax return," read the automated response from TurboTax.

The McClungs instantly knew what had happened. (Read More: Online Tax Filing a Hit With Taxpayers – and Thieves )

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