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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 7, 2014

Man Sentenced For Carrying Out Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme While In Prison

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentencing of GARY LEE SPEAR, 36, to 58 months in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns. SPEAR, who was indicted on January 7, 2014 along with co-defendants MONEER JUNE KHAZRAEINAZMPOUR and KELLY MATTESON, pleaded guilty on April 11, 2014 to one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. KHAZRAEINAZMPOUR pleaded guilty on March 11, 2014 to one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and one count of Distribution of Methamphetamine. She was sentenced on June 9, 2014 to 60 months in federal prison. MATTESON, who pleaded guilty on May 1, 2014 to one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, was sentenced on October 17, 2014 to 18 months in federal prison.

According to documents filed in court, from January 2009 through September 2011, SPEAR conspired with KHAZRAEINAZMPOUR and MATTESON, and other unnamed individuals, to file fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain large tax refunds. The purpose of the conspiracy was to steal money from the IRS by filing tax returns that reported inflated income, false withholdings, and other false items.

According to his guilty plea, SPEAR admitted that his role in the conspiracy involved obtaining personal identifying information, including birth dates and social security numbers, of prison inmates and then providing the information to his co-defendants. SPEAR carried out his role in the scheme while incarcerated in state prison for other crimes. SPEAR and his co-defendants submitted more than 130 fraudulent claims seeking refunds totaling more than $500,000.

This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Otteson.

Defendant Information:

GARY LEE SPEAR, 36
Sherburne County Jail

Convicted:
• Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, 1 count

Sentenced:
• 58 months in prison
• 3 year term of supervised release

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Updated April 30, 2015