BATON ROUGE – A former federal prison inmate faces state felony charges for an elaborate scheme, while he was behind bars, to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent state income tax refunds.
John Michael McConnell (booking photo) was booked Friday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of theft and filing or maintaining false public records.
Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Revenue say that from 2010 to 2017, McConnell filed numerous false state income tax returns claiming an estimated $171,000 in fraudulent refunds. They say he fabricated the W-2 withholding statements that he submitted with the fraudulent returns.
With the exception of one incident in 2010, McConnell committed all of these alleged crimes while incarcerated in various prisons, including the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana. He used post office boxes, girlfriends’ home addresses and the address of his parents’ business in Texas as his home addresses on the phony tax returns.
McConnell is the 71st person arrested under a joint anti-tax fraud initiative of the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the state Attorney General’s office.
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