Nigerian man sentenced for IRS tax-return scheme

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Nigerian man who netted more than $11 million in a fraud scheme has been sentenced in Oregon to 15 years in federal prison.

Emmanuel Kazeem was sentenced Wednesday in Eugene. A jury previously convicted him of fraud, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors say the 35-year-old purchased more than 91,000 identities from a Vietnamese hacker that originated from an Oregon company’s private database. They were used to file fraudulent tax returns in an attempt to get refunds.

In total, Kazeem was linked to 10,139 tax returns that tried to get more than $91 million dollars in refunds. He successfully received $11.6 million.

Prosecutors say Kazeem used the ill-gotten gains to buy two houses in the U.S. and attempt to develop a four-star hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.

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