MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Twenty-eight people have been charged in what U.S. Attorney Andy Luger called a pervasive identity theft and bank fraud scheme to steal more than $2 million by creating fake checks and cashing them at dozens of banks and check-cashing businesses.

The defendants include a former branch supervisor at a TCF Bank in Crystal and a former teller at a Central Bank branch. Prosecutors said Tuesday that they used their access to give account numbers and balance information to three check manufacturers. The manufacturers then used blank check stock and check-printing software to make fake checks, which were cashed by other defendants.

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Another defendant was a door-to-door meat salesman who authorities said took legitimate checks from customers as payment, then gave copies to other members of the conspiracy so they could be used to make fake checks.

Court documents say the defendants also got account numbers and bank routing information through the social media website Instagram, after victims posted pictures of themselves and their first paychecks online using the hashtag #myfirstpaycheck.

Authorities said the conspiracy lasted from Nov. 14, 2007 to Sept. 11, 2013. The charges were announced Tuesday as defendants were being arrested in Minnesota, Oregon and North Dakota. Twenty-five defendants were charged by indictment, and three were charged by felony information.

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Louis Stephens, the head of the U.S. Secret Service office in Minneapolis, said more than 75 federal, state and local law officers were involved in the investigation.

“Today, thanks to talented investigators, analysts and prosecutors, a significant identity theft ring adept at victimizing Minnesota businesses and citizens is no longer in business,” Stephens said.

Mark Goldman, a spokesman for TCF Bank, said the bank has been cooperating with authorities since the investigation’s early stages, and none of its customers lost any money as a result of the scheme. Goldman said the former branch supervisor has not worked at TCF since December 2012.

Larry Albert, Central Bank’s CEO, said the teller who was indicted is no longer with the bank and hasn’t worked there for some time.

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