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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A former Tucson tax preparer has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for a false return scheme.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Margarita Gomez also was ordered to pay nearly $200,500 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

She was sentenced Monday to a 30-month prison term after earlier pleading guilty in the case.

Prosecutors say Gomez conducted a scheme to obtain more than $200,000 in federal refunds through the filing of false claims.

Gomez admitted to soliciting clients who didn't have legal status to work or reside in the United States.

Prosecutors say she intentionally filed clients' federal individual income tax returns without signing the tax returns as the paid tax return preparer.

They say she also directed certain refunds issued to her clients to her personal bank account.

Associated Press,

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