- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina man has pleaded guilty in an income tax return scheme for which he owes the government nearly $3 million in restitution.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release that 52-year-old Oscar Barahona Fiallos of Smithfield pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit theft of public money and theft of public money.

Court documents show that in 2011 and 2012, Fiallos conspired with check cashers to cash U.S. Treasury refund checks issued for fraudulent income tax returns. Prosecutors say Fiallos deposited checks in his bank account and gave co-conspirators the cash, minus check-cashing fees.

In addition to paying restitution, Fiallos faces a maximum prison sentence of five years in prison. His sentencing is expected in June. .

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