(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA -- A husband and wife have been sentenced to federal prison for participating in a criminal tax scheme.
Timothy and Mary Beth Thomas were convicted of failing to pay taxes on a business they owned and then submitting four fake tax returns claiming more than $1 million in fraudulent refunds.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the couple owned a deck and patio construction company in Jackson County, but did not file federal income tax returns for a decade.
Instead of paying taxes, the couple sent harassing letters to IRS and Treasury officials, Yates said. Timothy Thomas, 51, even sent a note to an IRS agent's home and claimed he filed a commercial lien against two IRS employees.
The couple eventually filed the four phony returns and also submitted false financial instruments to the federal government, including a document purporting to be a $100 billion private registered bond. Yates said the couple asked the government to use the fake bond to pay their debts.
Timothy Thomas pleaded guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and was sentenced to two years in prison. His 47-year-old wife Mary Beth pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file an income tax return. She was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison.