Milledgeville man pleads guilty in tax scheme

lfabian@macon.comApril 12, 2013 

A Milledgeville man pleaded guilty to filing false income tax returns and fraudulent claims for refunds, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Maurice Hester entered his plea Monday on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, false claims against the government, theft of stolen government money and property and aggravated identity theft, the release stated.

One of the claims called for a fraudulent refund of more than $600,000.

“When Mr. Hester committed these acts of fraud and identity theft, he stole from honest tax-paying citizens,” U.S. Attorney Moore said in the release.

Hester admitted to filing tax returns using other people’s names, transmitting the false refunds into his bank accounts and intercepting a U.S. Treasury check mailed to another taxpayer.

The U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service investigated the crimes which have a potential combined maximum penalty of up to 35 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.

Sentencing is set for June 25.

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