- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A Mexican woman must serve 16 years in a U.S. prison and repay more than $3 million in an IRS refunds scam involving stolen identities.

Elizabeth “Betty” Garcia de Nieto in March was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., five counts of mail fraud and three counts of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. A federal jury in El Paso also convicted the Chihuahua, Mexico, woman of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. with respect to claims.

Prosecutors say Garcia since 2010 used stolen identities to create fraudulent U.S. tax returns and get average refunds of about $5,000. She paid other people to cash some IRS checks in El Paso, Oklahoma City and Chaparral, New Mexico.

Investigators say Garcia, who had kept most of the refunds, was sentenced Tuesday.

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