MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two inmates at a Minnesota prison are accused of filing $400,000 in false tax claims to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Tony Terrell Robinson, 30, and Tanka James Tetzlaff, 39, were each charged Tuesday with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and 10 counts each of making false claims.

According to the indictment, Robinson and Tetzlaff recruited other prisoners at the Faribault Correctional Facility to prepare and file false federal income tax returns and illegally claim tax refunds – which were directly deposited into bank accounts, onto debit cards or sent in check-form to their addresses.

Three non-incarcerated co-conspirators – Carmen Allen, Vanessa Walberg and Deeanna Crist – have each plead guilty to conspiracy. Allen was sentenced in early August, while Walberg and Crist are still awaiting sentencing.

The three cashed fraudulent refund checks using a Power of Attorney signed by Robinson, of Bayport, and Tetzlaff, of Duluth.

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