A tax preparer from Silver City has been sentenced to four years in prison for filing false claims and aggravated identity theft.
Officials with the U.S. Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Monday that 43-year-old Douglas Kuester also was ordered to pay $911,000 in restitution.
They say Kuester will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison term.
Kuester pleaded guilty to the charges in May. He has been in custody since his Jan. 24 arrest.
Authorities say Kuester used stolen identities to file false tax returns which fraudulently claimed refunds.
He would direct the fraudulently obtained refunds to various bank accounts and prepaid debit cards, retaining portions of the proceeds for himself.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.