A man who was rumored to be Babe Ruth's nephew and namesake, George Herman Ruth, and a fellow jail inmate, were convicted of defrauding the Internal Revenue Service of approximately $360,000 after filing false tax returns while in jail.
Ruth, 51, of Indianapolis, and William Robert Pilkey, 63, of Killeen, Texas, were inmates in Fort Dix Correctional Federal Institution. The pair was accused of filing 178 false individual tax returns with fraudulent claims for refunds using their names and the names of fellow inmates, from 2000 to 2003. A jury convicted them of one count of conspiracy to file false claims and 60 counts of filing false claims.
Ruth was serving a 33-month mail fraud sentence, while Pilkey was behind bars on a 10-year sentence on drug charges, when they carried out the scheme. They used outsiders to deposit the funds in bank accounts they had selected.
Ruth had earlier been charged with stealing $33,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development by using false names to apply for insurance refunds. While working as circulation manager at the Marion Chronicle-Tribune in Indiana, he also had filed false returns using the names of newspaper carriers and was later convicted.
It is not likely that Ruth is in fact related to the original Sultan of Swat. The baseball player had only one sibling who survived infancy, his younger sister Mary. She had only one daughter, Frances, but no sons. In addition, descendants of Ruth's two daughters said they were unaware of any family relationship with the jail inmate.
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