KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two Tennessee inmates have confessed to defrauding the IRS out of more than $310,000 in tax refunds.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Larry Steven Covington Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to defraud the IRS and using the stolen Social Security numbers of fellow inmates, a scheme court records suggest he was taught by James Glenn Collins, who pleaded guilty to a similar scam in December 2014.
Covington and Collins filed hundreds of tax returns claiming refunds owed to inmates, most of whom had been unemployed for years. The IRS rejected $1.8 million in claims, but Covington’s six-year scheme netted $163,778 and Collins’ three-year scheme netted $150,465. Both men had outside help.
Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor did not say how the inmates’ personal information was obtained.