CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Barbados national who stole the identities of hundreds of dead people in a scheme to collect more than $120 million in bogus tax refunds from the U.S. government was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday to 9-1/2 years in prison.
Andrew Watts, 35, pleaded guilty in July to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Prosecutors said Watts, a Barbados national who was in the United States legally, used the stolen identities to file 645 false federal tax returns between 2007 and 2011 and to claim more than $120 million in tax refunds.
Watts received more than $19 million in refund checks from the U.S. Treasury before the Internal Revenue Service discovered the scam. click here to read more