Cleveland city employee gets prison time for tax-return scam

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Cleveland Water Department employee who admitted to his role in a scam that recruited people from homeless shelters to file fraudulent tax returns has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Muhammad Hague, 41, pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to make false claims in a scam that involved four other people. reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office says the group filed more than 700 false returns – seeking more than $3 million in tax refunds.

Authorities say Hague was recruited into the scam through his sister, and carried out his part through a company he formed for his tax-preparation activities.

He was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in prison and to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution. He apologized in court for his actions.

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