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Man sentenced to 7 1/2 years for identity theft tax return scheme

A man was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing identities to file false tax returns, collecting more than $350,000 in the process.

Robert Brown, 30, pleaded guilty in January to one count each of aggravated identity theft and wire fraud in a six-count indictment, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Brown, of Chicago, admitted that between January 2010 and March 2014, he submitted fraudulent federal income tax returns with identities he and another co-defendant stole from 332 people, the statement said.

Several of the identity theft victims were residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The phony tax returns netted Brown and his co-defendant $357,539, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Brown’s co-defendant, Lorenzo Brown, obtained the names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of the victims, and gave their information to him. Robert Brown then prepared the fraudulent tax returns, knowing the information was acquired illegally, the statement said.

Robert Brown was sentenced Tuesday to 71/2 years in prison. Lorenzo Brown is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.