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Social Security IDs: fake. Tax returns filed: 117.

Social Security numbers were fraudulent, so were the income-tax returns. Tax-scammer and former inmate gets 57 months in prison.

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Tax returns wait to be opened at the Internal Revenue Service's service center in Andover, Mass., in this 2005 file photo. On April 8, 2011, a federal court in Portland, Maine, sentenced a former inmate who used fake Social Security numbers to file 117 tax returns.

Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor / File

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A former prisoner at the Maine State Prison has been sentenced to 57 months for submitting 117 false income tax returns seeking more than $515,000 in refunds using the social securitynumbers of other prisoners without their knowledge.

Troy Fears of Mesa, Ariz., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland. He pleaded guilty in February to filing false tax returns and misusing social security numbers.

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According to court records, the 54-year-old Fears submitted the false tax returns between 2005 and 2009 while incarcerated in Maine and Arizona.

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