- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - In a story Dec. 5 about two men being sentenced to prison for fraudulently obtaining federal tax refunds, The Associated Press erroneously reported the office that announced the sentence. The office of U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha announced the sentence, not the state attorney general’s office.

A corrected version of the story is below:

2 Rhode Island men sentenced for identity theft

2 Rhode Island men sentenced to prison for identify theft scheme involving bogus tax refunds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Two Rhode Island men have been sentenced to prison for fraudulently obtaining federal tax refunds using the stolen personal information of more than 1,200 people.

The office of U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says 23-year-old Julian Balbi of Providence was sentenced in federal court on Friday to 30 months in prison. A co-defendant, 23-year-old Richard Lara of Providence, received a 60-month prison sentence in the same court Thursday.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved using stolen personal information to file fraudulent tax returns totaling nearly $1.9 million. Rhode Island State Police arrested Balbi and Lara during a routine traffic stop in January 2012 and found 87 U.S. Treasury tax refund checks made out to other people.

Lara and Balbi previously pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, conspiracy and theft of government property.

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