IRS and slave reparations credit

In case any of you missed it, the IRS has apparently paid over $30,000,000 in “Slave reparation credits”, a non-existent tax credit claimed on personal income tax returns. Does this mean that the original scammers can’t be prosecuted for fraud in as much as their scheme actually resulted in money being paid to (some of) the people they though they were duping?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41186-2002Apr12.html

Of course they will be prosecuted for fraud (assuming they’re caught.) That the IRS accidentally paid the credits does not mean that it was legal, nor does it mean that the IRS will not demand the money back (and they’ll get it.)

IOW, the actions of the IRS don’t change the fact that what the scammers did was deliberately fraudulant.