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Press Release

Chad Heins Pleads Guilty To Prison Tax Refund Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Chad R. Heins (40, Nekoosa, Wisconsin) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and must pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.  His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 23, 2015.

According to the plea agreement, Heins spent 13 years and 8 months in prison after being arrested, tried, and convicted of first-degree murder. After his release, he communicated with at least one State of Florida inmate and reached an agreement to split tax refund proceeds that had been obtained from the filing of fraudulent tax returns. Heins opened bank accounts in his name and fraudulently obtained income tax refunds in the total amount of at least $1,258,178, which were to be deposited into his accounts.

Five other individuals, Laura Wright (71, Lecanto, FL), Tiffani Manning (31, Jacksonville, FL), Silvester Bowens (48, Jacksonville, FL), Christopher Wyant (39, Morristown, TN), and Tabatha Dubois (34, Morristown, TN), previously pleaded guilty for their roles in this case.

This case was investigated by The Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Florida Department of Corrections. Assistant United States Attorneys Kelly S. Karase and Mark Devereaux are prosecuting this case.

Updated February 4, 2016