Tax Worker Created Computer Program Used to Steal Millions

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Denver (AP) Prosecutors say a tax agency supervisor accused of stealing millions of dollars from the state through bogus refunds helped created a computer program that was used in the alleged scam.

Prosecutors say 30-year-old Michelle Cawthra stole up to $10 million by funneling fraudulent refunds and other payments to an acquaintance. They initially put the amount at $5.3 million but had said it was expected to rise.

Cawthra faces 27 state felony counts including violating the organized crime act, computer crime, theft, forgery, embezzlement and conspiracy. She is jailed under $10 million bail.

She's scheduled to appear in court Friday.

In court documents, prosecutors say Cawthra worked on creating a computer accounting system for the Revenue Department known as Paperless History with Interfacing technology, or PHIL.

One Revenue Department official told investigators Cawthra had a ``thorough knowledge'' of how the system worked.

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