EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Two southwestern Illinois women have been ordered to spend at least two years in federal prison and repay more than $54,000 each for their roles in an income tax scheme.
A judge in East St. Louis sentenced 39-year-old Angenita Smith of Alton to 24 months in prison. Thirty-seven-year-old Tammy Smith of Alton was sentenced to 26 months behind bars. It isn't immediately clear if the women are related.
The Smiths pleaded guilty last October. Prosecutors say they falsely prepared W-2 tax forms and provided them to relatives and friends to enable them to get refunds by filing bogus federal income-tax returns.
The U.S. government says the Smiths lied to investigators, resulting in an increase in their prison sentences.
Eric Hinson pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Sentencing is May 2.
Hinson admitted stealing the money from January 2006 through September 2011. He took cash advances on a district credit card and used the card for family vacations in Florida and Hawaii and to pay for personal purchases. He altered records to hide the theft.
Hinson started as a volunteer firefighter in 1985. He became chief in January 2011 and was paid about $25,000 annually for the part-time job.
He became chief in the St. Louis County town of Ladue in July 2011 but resigned two months later amid the St. Clair investigation