A former Internal Revenue Service employee has been sentenced to two years in prison for identity theft and filing fraudulent income tax returns.

George Albright, 57, of Antioch, Tenn., was sentenced last week by a federal judge in in Nashville after he pleaded guilty in May to one count of filing a false tax return and one count of using the identities of others to do so. 

Albright was employed by the IRS as a taxpayer service representative from 1995 until March 2012. He admitted that, between February 2008 and January 2011, he used his position as an IRS employee to obtain the names and identifiers of taxpayers from IRS records. He then used this information to file several fraudulent federal income tax returns. Albright directed that the tax refunds from those returns, totaling $9,669.00, be electronically deposited into bank accounts under his control. 

In imposing the two-year sentence, U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell noted that Albright, who has no prior criminal history, had engaged in an egregious abuse of the public trust. 

“Tax fraud, or any crime committed by a government employee, occupies a high priority for federal investigators and prosecutors in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin in a statement. “Anyone filing a fraudulent tax return and anyone employed in a position of public trust should take note of the prison sentence they risk if they engage in this sort of criminal conduct, even if they have no criminal record. They should also be reminded that there is no parole in the federal system.”

Albright will remain under federal supervision for one year after completing his prison sentence. He was also ordered to forfeit the computer that he used to commit the crimes and will be required to repay the tax refunds he stole.