Tax fraud scheme for drug plane nets Florida man prison time

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MIAMI (AP) – A South Florida man has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for his involvement in a $1 million tax fraud scheme that included the planned rental of an airplane for Colombian drug dealers.

Miami prosecutors said Monday that 28-year-old Yasmany Lopez was involved in a 2012 plot to use a portion of the stolen tax refunds to rent the plane for $500,000 to fly drugs from Colombia to Honduras.

Authorities say Lopez contacted a confidential government informant to deliver the money and was stopped in his car by police. Investigators eventually recovered 1,288 debit cards containing the fraudulent tax refunds, all of which involved people living in Puerto Rico whose identities had been stolen.

Lopez previously pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.

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