3 steal resident IDs, get prison time

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Three people were sentenced Monday for stealing the identities of assisted living residents and others and using the information to claim $276,000 on fraudulent tax returns.

Jermaine Winters, Senora Cotton and Rosetta Presley had pleaded guilty earlier to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They admitted that, between July 2011 and July 2012, they conspired to electronically file the returns using the stolen identities of residents of the Dogwood Inn assisted living community in Bonifay, FL; clinical laboratory patients from the Sun Laboratory Services in the Tampa area; and others. The refunds issued on the fraudulent returns were loaded onto prepaid debit cards and mailed to addresses in the Florida.

Winters and Presley, who pleaded guilty on April 16, were sentenced to 108 months in prison and two days in prison and 5 years' probation, respectively. Cotton, who pleaded guilty on Aug. 3, was sentenced to 24 months and one day in prison. Additionally, the defendants were ordered to pay $195,547 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

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