A grand jury has indicted 55 people for participating in scams that tried to bilk the government out of more than $250 million in undeserved tax refunds, prosecutors in California said on Monday.

Thirty-two indictments were returned by the grand jury accusing the people of various schemes to obtain the refunds. Millions of dollars were paid out, including a check worth almost $1.2 million, the prosecutors said.

The owners of one California company were accused of making presentations that claimed customers could get tax refunds from a secret government account after making payments to the company and agreeing to pay a percentage of any refunds they received, the prosecutors said.

More than 400 false tax returns were filed with the IRS as a result of the scheme allegedly run by a firm called Old Quest Foundation Inc. and another 35 were filed in a scheme allegedly run by another group, De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates.