A woman who took part in a scheme to file $3.2 million worth of false federal tax returns has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Bonnie Sue Fleenor, 33, and others in the conspiracy used the identities of Tennessee prison inmates in filing fake returns, according to a news release from acting U.S. Attorney Carlton Shier IV.
Fleenor is from Kingsport, Tenn., but was indicted in Frankfort because some members of the fraud conspiracy were from Kentucky and committed illegal acts in Anderson and Fayette counties, according to court records.
U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced Fleenor on Wednesday.
A grand jury charged that Fleenor and others conspired between November 2008 and June 2013 to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
Trial testimony showed Fleenor worked with others to steal identifying information on hundreds of Tennessee inmates to use in the false returns, Shier’s office said in a news release.
Fleenor handled tax refunds and supplied forged power-of-attorney forms to others to cash the checks.
Members of the conspiracy filed hundreds of false returns seeking a total of more than $3.2 million, according to Shier’s office.
The Internal Revenue Service did not approve all refunds. The agency estimated it lost $1.6 million in the scheme involving six related cases, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Boone said in one court document.
Fleenor was the last of 13 people sentenced in related cases in the fraud conspiracy.
Shier’s office said two, Joyce Bickers and David Hedges, were from Lawrenceburg.
Bickers’ attorney, Matthew R. Malone, said in a motion that her son, Gregory Hedges, drew her into the conspiracy to take delivery of refund checks and cash them while he helped direct the scam from prison in Tennessee.
Bickers was sentenced to 12 months and one day in jail and ordered to pay $187,940 in restitution to the IRS.
David Hedges was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $9,073 in restitution.