U.S. Attorney: Pittsburgh man ran large-scale tax-fraud scheme from behind bars
A Pittsburgh man currently serving time for involuntary manslaughter will have another three years tacked on after being sentenced in connection with a tax fraud scheme run from his prison cell.
U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak imposed the sentence on Sean Brooks, 28, of Pittsburgh, along with ordering him to pay $250,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Hornak ordered the sentence to run consecutive with the 12-to-24-year sentence Brooks is currently serving, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.
Prosecutors said Brooks filed tax returns on behalf of inmates and other individuals claiming tax refunds, arranging to have the refunds sent to other conspirators who were not serving time.
Those people then forged check endorsements and deposited the checks, later withdrawing the money and disbursing it.
In total, the scheme involved hundreds of thousands of dollars from hundreds of fraudulent tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Brooks was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax fraud. The investigation involved the IRS, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Department of Homeland Security.