State Prisoner Sentenced To 129 Months in Federal Prison For Tax Fraud Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A prisoner in eastern Kentucky has been sentenced to 129 months after pleading
guilty to conspiring to submit false tax returns using the names of other prisoners.
U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced William Helton, 37, of Mt. Sterling, Ky., for
conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Judge Reeves also ordered
Helton to pay $96,522 in restitution, plus interest. Under federal law, Helton must serve at least
85 percent of his prison sentence, and upon his release, he will serve three years of supervised
In his plea agreement, Helton admitted that while he was a state prisoner, he and a co- conspirator
outside of prison, Jason Tyre, met and corresponded through a prison pen-pal program and developed
a conspiracy in which they and other co-conspirators submitted numerous false tax returns, using
other people’s personal information to fraudulently obtain money from tax refunds.
Helton also admitted that the overall conspiracy amounted to $390,000 of false tax refund claims
over four years.
Helton acknowledged that he obtained other prisoners’ personal information, without their
knowledge, such as social security numbers and provided that information in a letter to Tyre.
Then at Helton’s direction, Tyre filled out tax forms using the names and personal information of
other prisoners. Tyre made false claims on the tax forms regarding items such as, filing status,
income, employment, and number of dependents, in order to maximize the refund amount.
Helton further admitted that he directed Tyre to open bank accounts in Tyre’s name to hold the
money from the fraudulent tax refunds and to wire the money to other co-conspirators once he
received the tax refunds.
Helton was in state prison for convictions related to burglary, theft and drugs.
Tyre is scheduled for sentencing on May 26.
Carlton Shier, IV, Acting U.S. Attorney; Tommy Coke, Inspector in Charge, Pittsburgh Division, U.S.
Postal Inspection Service, and Tracey D. Montaño, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service
Criminal Investigation, jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the IRS.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj Gupta prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.
Updated May 22, 2017