Laurel woman gets 18 months in fraud scheme

September 15, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A federal judge sentenced a Laurel woman yesterday to 18 months in prison for her unsuccessful scheme to illegally collect income tax refunds.

Mari Ayn Sailer, 27, had pleaded guilty in April to filing a false federal income tax return and scheming to defraud a federally insured bank.

Prosecutors say that in 2002, she filed six false claims for refunds - including four in the names of people who were deceased. She gave her address, as well as her boyfriend's.

According to her plea agreement, Sailer received a $42,613.10 "refund anticipation loan check" the next month. She endorsed the check to her boyfriend, with the expectation that he would be able to deposit it and collect the money.

But prosecutors said that the bank was suspicious of the large check and had been suspicious of other activity in the account. That prompted the FBI and Internal Revenue Service to start the investigation, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz ordered that Sailer serve three years of supervised release after her prison sentence.

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