- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) - A southwest Virginia couple has pleaded guilty to helping a Tennessee prison inmate run a tax fraud scheme.

Online records show that Richard Powers and Diane Powers of Jonesville entered the pleas Monday in federal court in Abingdon. They will be sentenced June 23.

A 37-count indictment says the two helped David Witt obtain fraudulent tax refunds in the names of other prisoners. Richard and Diane Powers allegedly provided some of the tax preparation materials used by Witt and received the refund checks at their home. Richard and Diane Powers pleaded guilty to two counts - making false claims and conspiracy to defraud the government.

Witt pleaded guilty to two counts last week. Another co-defendant, William Ziehler, was sentenced to four years and three months on related charges.


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