Ex-NFL player sentenced for tax refund scam

William Joseph faces 2 years in prison, prosecutors say

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MIAMI - Former NFL star William Joseph was sentenced to two years in prison for his participation in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Friday.

Joseph, 33, played for the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders and is a former University of Miami defensive tackle.

The prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release, officials said.

Joseph pled guilty on August 31, 2012 to one count of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, the defendant and seven others were charged in an FBI sting operation. From February 2012 to April 2012, the FBI operated a financial services store in North Miami that accepted fraudulently obtained tax refund checks from individuals looking to cash those checks, prosecutors said.

In March and April 2012, the defendant cashed or assisted in the cashing of 13 fraudulently obtained income tax refund checks totaling about $70,000 at the store for around 60%of face value, prosecutors said.

According to court documents, Joseph provided fake identification documents to the undercover agent at the store matching the names of the victims on the checks. Prosecutors said Joseph forged the signatures of the victims on the back of some of the checks.

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