Bend man pleads guilty to tax refund fraud

BEND, Ore. - A 36-year-old Bend man faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 after pleading guilty to a fraud scheme that netted a $327,062 federal income tax refund, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Mark Timothy Ellis pleaded guilty Wednesday in Eugene federal court to making a fraudulent claim against the U.S. and filing a false lien against a federal employee, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

As part of a plea agreement, Ellis admitted making a false claim when he filed a federal tax return and obtained the large refund, prosecutors said.

Ellis also admitted filing a false lien against an IRS special agent who was investigating the false tax return "as a means of retaliation and intimidation," a news release said.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 7 before Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken.

The maximum penalty for making a false claim is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the top penalty for filing a false lien is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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