- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina man has pleaded guilty in connection with an income tax return scheme for which he owes the government more than $4 million in restitution.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release that 47-year-old Wilfredo Acosta Hidalgo of Raleigh pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit theft of public money and theft of public money.

Court documents show that in 2011 and 2012, Hidalgo conspired with check cashers to cash U.S. Treasury refund checks issued for fraudulent income tax returns. The check cashers deposited the checks into their business bank accounts and gave Hidalgo with cash, minus check-cashing fees.

In addition to restitution, Hidalgo faces a maximum prison sentence of 15 years on the two charges. His sentencing date hasn’t been set.

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