Former TCI inmate charged in tax-refund scam

WARREN — The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio has charged Ronald Dean Wells, 45, with conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false claims stemming from a false tax-refund scheme he operated from Trumbull Correctional Institution, Leavittsburg, when he was imprisoned there for nearly six years.

The charge says that Wells, from 1996 through 2002, obtained the names and Social Security numbers of various Ohio prisoners, in most cases, without their knowledge, which he used to prepare false tax returns claiming tax refunds in their names based on fictitious wages and tax withholdings.

Based on 11 of the false claims, the Internal Revenue Service issued refund checks totaling $56,189, which were cashed by co-conspirators or other people assisting Wells, the proceeds of which were distributed as directed by Wells, the charge says.

Wells is now at the Grafton Correctional Institution on a charge of 20 years to life for an aggravated murder conviction.

For the complete story, see Thursday's Vindicator and  

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