Schemer who used inmate IDs in tax fraud sentenced

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TACOMA — One of four people involved in a tax fraud scheme that used personal information of Washington State Penitentiary inmates was sentenced to federal prison Monday.

Richard Shane Wright, 43, was given a 33 month sentence and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to defraud the government. He was also ordered to pay $71,885 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle.

In a release, Internal Revenue Service spokesman Benjamin George said the scheme involved Wright and others claiming tax refunds by creating and filing fake W-2 forms and federal income tax returns using names and Social Security numbers of WSP inmates.

The alleged leader of the conspiracy, Kenneth Randle Door, obtained the information while he was serving a sentence at the penitentiary, George said. Door, who is in federal custody, is scheduled for trial on the tax charges later this year.

Door has also been charged with being an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm, being a violent felon in possession of body armor and being possession of an explosive device, said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Trial on those charges is scheduled for June.

According to records filed in the case, Wright joined the scheme in late March 2009 and was responsible for filing at least 31 fraudulent tax returns for tax years 2007 and 2008.

Two others involved in the conspiracy, Lucy Anne Hyder, also known as Lucy Bailey, 53, was sentenced in February to eight months in prison and Ruth Louise Branstetter, also known as Ruth Bishop, 48, was sentenced last month to almost 7 months in prison.

In all, the conspirators tried to obtain more than $145,000 in tax refunds and nearly $72,000 was paid out, George said.

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