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Verona man going to prison for filing fake tax returns

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Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 7:16 p.m.

A Verona man will spend four years and six months in prison for a tax fraud he committed in Arizona, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Espiridion Adrian Lugo, 40, moved to the Pittsburgh area in 2009, according to court documents. Before that, he lived in Buckeye, Ariz., where he set up a shell company, Uncle Sam's Tax Service, and filed about three dozen fake federal tax returns using the identities of deceased California residents, prosecutors say.

He was arrested in January 2012 and pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft. Lugo claimed more than $279,000 in tax refunds and obtained $128,388 between July 2008 and May 2009, prosecutors say.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake in Arizona also sentenced Lugo to three years of probation and ordered him to pay $128,388 in restitution.

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