- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A former Virginia Beach nurses aide has been sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns with personal information stolen from patients.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dana Boente (BEN’-tay) says 37-year-old Festus Ighalo was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government in October.

A co-defendant, Emmanuel Effiong, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and identity theft and was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

Prosecutors say the naturalized U.S. citizens from Nigeria were nurses aides at a Virginia Beach hospital. They stole Social Security numbers and other information from thousands of patients and, with the help of others in the U.S. and Nigeria, submitted bogus federal tax returns to obtain tax refunds.

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