- Associated Press - Thursday, January 26, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Federal authorities say a jury found a Marin County man guilty of using the personal information of fellow prisoners to file false tax returns and then pocketed more than half a million dollars in income tax refunds.

U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch says 52-year-old Howard Webber was found guilty Tuesday of conspiring to use stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns.

Stretch says Webber conspired with 69-year-old Clifford Bercovich, of San Rafel, to get the social security numbers of fellow inmates while he was imprisoned in California and Wisconsin.

He says Webber convinced inmates to give their names and social security numbers by telling them he could help them take advantage of government programs. He and Bercovich then filed more than 700 false returns and received more than $600,000 in income tax refunds.

Bercovich pleaded guilty in December 2016 to conspiracy, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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