- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Norfolk man has been sentenced to four years and six months in federal prison for a scheme that used the stolen identification records of inmates to file false federal income tax returns.

Twenty-four-year-old Travis Hager was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Norfolk for wire fraud and false claims against the United States.

Court records show that while he was incarcerated in Virginia Beach, Hager stole the identities of fellow inmates and used the jail phone system to relay them to an accomplice. A third unidentified person then filed the false returns.

Hager and the others requested that the tax refunds be loaded on a prepaid debit card and mailed to Norfolk. The scheme claimed nearly $164,000 in fraudulent tax refunds.

Co-conspirator Donte Demus will be sentenced in December.

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