A Philadelphia police officer and his brother have been charged with defrauding the federal government in a $500,000 tax scam.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Lunkenheimer says that 25th District Police Officer Jose Tirado and his brother, Victor, used a common software program to create fraudulent tax returns in order to collect refunds from the Internal Revenue Service.

"In March 2010, Jose and Victor Tirado obtained names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of individuals including children. In some cases, we allege that they recruited individuals to provide the identifying information," according to the federal indictment. "With that information, Jose Tirado is alleged to have prepared federal individual tax returns that falsely and fraudulently inflated earned income amounts on tax returns in order to obtain tax refunds that included earned income tax credits."

Lunkenheimer says more than a half million dollars worth of false claims were submitted.

Jose Tirado has been suspended by the police department.

If convicted of all charges, Jose Tirado could face up to 80 years in prison and Victor Tirado could receive up to 25 years.