Man Convicted in Mail Fraud Gets Jail Term

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A Florida man has been sentenced to a year in prison for his part in a mail fraud scheme targeting taxpayers looking for a quick refund.

Russell Levine of Boca Raton, FL, was accused of mailing 25,000 official-looking postcards to taxpayers in June and July with partners Leonard Fellez and Borden Barrows. The postcards asked recipients to send a $17.95 processing fee to receive information about the amount of their $300 to $600 federal tax rebate and "to ensure its proper delivery."

Hundreds responded, sending money and a $2 "rush" fee to the Boca Raton post office box address. Prosecutors said the scheme brought in $40,000 before investigators shut it down.

Levine and Fellez both pleaded guilty to conspiracy. No date has been set for Fellez's sentencing. Both testified against Barrows.

Barrows was convicted of multiple counts in December. He faces up to five years in prison and a $125,000 fine for each of five counts, four of mail fraud and one of conspiracy. His sentencing date is set for March.


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