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Sawyer County man goes to prison for tax refund fraud

A Sawyer County man will spend six years in federal prison for stealing from the Internal Revenue Service.

Jason T. Procknow, 41, Exeland, Wis., was sentenced to six years in federal prison by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Conley, for theft of funds from the United States Treasury and aggravated identity theft for his scheme to file false tax returns and demand tax refunds using the stolen identities of other individuals. Procknow also was ordered to pay $42,646.78 in restitution to the IRS.

Procknow’s conduct involved sending blank forms to prison inmates, promising them assistance with their own legal difficulties. The forms required the inmates to provide personal identifying information, including social security numbers. Procknow then used the identity and social security numbers of the inmates to file fraudulent tax returns, directing the tax refunds to be directly deposited to his personal bank account.

Judge Conley said that Procknow’s elaborate scheme demonstrated an obvious level of intelligence, his long history of criminal offenses and failure to change his behavior after serving past sentences suggest that Procknow will continue to use his intelligence to commit new crimes rather than advance himself or contribute to society.

The charges against Jason T. Procknow were the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Eagan, Minn., Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson handled the prosecution.