SPOKANE -- A former inmate at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell will now be serving time in a federal prison for filing 63 false tax returns trying to collect nearly $93,000 in refunds.
Richard Ivan Vancil, 44, of Spokane, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Spokane to 23 months in prison.
Federal prosecutors recommended 30 months for the tax fraud saying "honest taxpayers need to see consequences to those who choose to manipulate the system for their own greedy purposes," court documents said.
Vancil was charged on tax day -- April 15, 2011 -- for filing the fraudulent returns for the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax years, documents said.
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Vancil was at the Connell prison Sept. 5, 2008, when he filed a fictitious 2007 income tax return for a taxpayer identified by investigators with the initials J.D. The returned claimed a $1,500 tax refund with earned income credit.
The false claim was received by the IRS on Dec. 5, 2008, and a tax refund check of $1,928 was issued, documents said.
Vancil also filed a claim in August 2008 for a taxpayer with the initials T.M., which resulted in tax refund of $1,500, documents said.
Vancil was charged with two counts of filing false or fraudulent claims, but investigators said Vancil was responsible for preparing and filing 63 fake tax returns.
Three were in his name and the rest were in other inmates' names, documents said. The false claims for tax refunds totaled $92,798.
The IRS Fraud Detection Center prevented payment of more than two dozen false claims, but a total of $54,781 in refunds were issued on the other fraudulent returns.
Four days after being charged Vancil agreed to plead guilty, with prosecutors agreeing that no more charges would be filed against him.
Vancil had been in prison after being convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine and bail jumping. He began a one-year community supervision term on April 29, 2010, after being released from prison.
Vancil, who successfully completed his drug treatment and was working with his brother selling vacuums, asked for probation instead of prison.
The tax fraud was identified in 2009 and, after an initial denial, Vancil was cooperative and provided investigators with detailed information about the offense, according to documents filed by Vancil's defense attorney.
Vancil will be under court supervision for three years after he's released from prison and was ordered to pay $54,781 in restitution to the IRS.