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Isaiah Konkus and Justin Petersen were sentenced today (May 10) to ten months in prison and ordered to pay $268,832 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for masterminding a scam to exploit the Earned Income Credit program. That program is designed to help working families by offsetting social security taxes and providing an incentive for people to find work. So, according to the U.S. Attorney's office, Konkus and Petersen solicited low-income folks, including the homeless and drug addicts, at trolley stations and homeless shelters downtown. Konkus and Petersen said these people could get "free money from the government" if they would sign a blank tax return. Then the pair filled in mainly false information about income, occupation and dependents, and filed the returns with the IRS. Then they would skim up to $2,500 of the people's tax credits. Konkus and Petersen filed more than 1000 returns and spent their ill-gotten gains on illegal drugs, a Humvee, a sport fishing trip and other luxuries, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

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