- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida man will serve more than three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to using stolen student identities to file fraudulent income tax returns.

Federal prosecutors said Monday that 34-year-old Donald Claude of Miramar also was ordered by a judge to pay more than $210,000 in restitution to the U.S. government.

Authorities say Claude opened a tax preparer business allowing him to file returns in other people’s names. He and a co-defendant obtained student identities from a Miami-Dade County schools employee and used those names to file the phony returns between 2009 and 2011.

Claude earlier this year pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and wire fraud. His co-defendant remains a fugitive.

South Florida is one of the nation’s hotbeds for tax fraud using stolen identities.

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