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Missouri inmate Kevin Dunham pleaded guilty last year to claiming $139,644 in fraudulent refunds for himself and his fellow prisoners — $54,814 of which was received. Dunham prepared false tax returns for inmates using a typewriter and sent the returns to the inmates’ families, who then mailed them to the IRS. Refunds were shared between those involved, and the roughly $200 to $300 cut Dunham received from each return was paid to his mother, who deposited some of it in his prison account.
Another inmate just plead guilty to receiving $33.5 million from seven faked returns. They used tax ID numbers they found in annual reports held at the prison library. Many of the IRS’ files on prisoners are also inaccurate, though even being in prison doesn’t mean you can’t legally get a refund. If you were employed before going to prison, work at the prison, or are in a work release program, you may be entitled to one.