TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The owners of a tax preparation business that allegedly filed fraudulent returns on behalf of inmates at various New Jersey prisons have been convicted of conspiracy and numerous other charges.

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say Delaware residents Kamal James and Crystal Hawkins operated Release Refunds, a now-defunct business that was based in Brick, New Jersey, and Seaford, Delaware.

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James, of Seaford, and Hawkins, a Laurel resident, solicited current and former New Jersey prison inmates as clients and then filed the returns on their behalf.

Prosecutors said they used flyers to solicit business at halfway houses and prisons, convincing clients to provide basic information and sign income tax forms that didn't have any information on their actual income. James and Hawkins eventually filled in false income information in order to get increased refunds.

They were convicted Friday.

 

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