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Mastermind of $3.5 million tax fraud scheme sentenced to more than 8 years in prison in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The mastermind of a $3.5 tax fraud scheme that unraveled because the conspirators misspelled the names of common cities on forms has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced 35-year-old Roma Sims, of the Columbus suburb of Westerville, to prison for 100 months and ordered him to pay $3.5 million in restitution.

Sims and two others were charged last year with stealing the identities of more than 500 people between 2009 and 2012 to collect tax refunds of more than $3.5 million.

Most of the stolen identities were Kentucky residents on disability or other assistance.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1lkXXEM ) reports that the scheme unraveled when the conspirators misspelled several cities on forms that caught the attention of Internal Revenue Service investigators.

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