Six former members of the University of South Dakota football team have pleaded guilty to participating in a tax refund fraud scheme.
They were among 11 people, including a former member of the track-and-field team and student council president, who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges involving stolen identities and refunds on prepaid debit cards.
The scheme allegedly defrauded the Internal Revenue Service out of $1.1 million, according to the Associated Press, and netted the fraud ring approximately $400,000 in about a year.
The ringleader, Alphonso Valdez, allegedly recruited other students along with his girlfriend and friends from his hometown of Tampa, Fla., to help steal identities, according to the AP. He is scheduled to be sentenced Monday. Others who participated in the scheme have been sentenced to two to five years in prison and ordered to pay restitution.
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