Two Sentenced In Stolen Half Million Dollar Tax Refund Scheme

Two men are going to federal prison for making off with more than 300 files from a New Bern tax office and stealing those people's identities.

Jeffrey Toohey will have to serve a little over 10 years in prison, pay back more than a quarter of a million dollars, and be on supervised release for five years. Christopher Fleming will serve 2-1/2 years in prison, pay back a little over $200,000 and be on supervised release for three years.

The feds say back in October 2010, the two broke into the New Bern Jackson Hewitt tax office and stole the files. They then used public WI-FI access to set up Yahoo and Gmail accounts using personal information from the tax files. After filing 2010 tax returns for the people, they directed the tax refunds to either debit cards that were mailed to homes the two knew were vacant or to bank accounts that were opened using fraudulent information.

Toohey and Fleming had previously pleaded guilty to the charges this summer.

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