A former Internal Revenue Service agent-turned-tax preparer has been sentenced to nearly 24 years in prison for defrauding his tax clients out of more than $11 million and then hiring a hit man to kill them to prevent them from testifying about the theft.

Steven Martinez, 51, of Ramona, Calif., was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Court Judge William Q. Hayes. In addition to a 286-month sentence, Judge Hayes ordered Martinez to pay more than $14 million in restitution to the victims, the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board. The judge also entered a preliminary order of forfeiture as to certain real and personal property, including an $11 million money judgment. Once Martinez completes his prison sentence, he will be on five years of supervised release.

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