4 sentenced in fuel tax-credit scheme

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - Two south Georgia tax preparers and a couple with a tree service and stump removal company have been sentenced
in a tax-fraud scheme involving more than $5 million in phony credits for diesel fuel claimed for fictitious logging businesses.

U.S. Attorney Maxwell Wood says the ringleader, tax preparer Clinton "Basil" Hughes of Valdosta, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in Albany to four years in prison. Pamela Hughes got two years, nine months, and both must pay about $4 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Rodger and Robin Bennett of Lake Park, Ga., were sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay $219,000.

The four were among 11 defendants sentenced in the scheme.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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