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Man gets 5 years for tax return scheme

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Man gets 5 years for tax return scheme

Tucson man, group used IDs of disabled to file false returns

A Tucson man was sentenced to five years in prison for his part in a tax return scheme that used stolen identities of disabled people, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

Shelton DeWayne Tanner, 40, pleaded guilty on Oct. 25 to conspiracy to commit false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, said Bill Solomon, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Tanner was among a group who used stolen identities to claim more than $1 million in false tax returns to bilk the government of $300,000 in refunds, Solomon said.

To cover up their scheme, Tanner and the others filed returns electronically using their neighbors' wireless networks and had the returns deposited into prepaid debit accounts obtained under false identities at several addresses, Solomon said.

Tanner and the group targeted the identities of people with disabilities because they believed the disabled were less likely to file tax returns on their own, in the process compromising the victims' Social Security Numbers, Solomon said.

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