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Man gets prison time in tax scheme targeting vulnerable seniors

A Southern California man was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Monday in a tax scheme that took advantage of 32 mentally or physically impaired seniors in the Las Vegas area.

Damon Boswell, 38, who lived in Las Vegas when the scheme unfolded in 2009, also was ordered to share with another defendant in paying $192,632 in restitution to the IRS.

The scheme involved luring the victims — many of whom lived in assisted-living homes or with their grown children — into believing they would receive Obama administration economic stimulus money.

Under that guise, Boswell and his co-conspirators obtained personal identifying information from the victims and filed phony tax returns seeking tens of thousands of dollars in homebuyer credits in their names without their knowledge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Brown sought a two-year prison sentence, arguing most of the seniors were taken advantage of during a vulnerable time.

“It was egregious conduct,” Brown told the judge. “These were people in destitute positions in their lives.”

When given a chance to address the judge, Boswell said, “This is not who I am. I am sincerely apologetic.”

Then he began sobbing and promised to do whatever he could to put the crimes behind him and remain a productive citizen.

His wife, mother and one of his stepdaughters also made emotional pleas for leniency.

In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey pointed out the seriousness of the crimes.

“This is a case that has some ugly facts,” she said. “It was a well-planned scheme.”

But she said she decided on the lesser 15-month sentence because Boswell appeared “very remorseful” and on a “better track” in his life since 2009.

She gave him until Feb. 16 to surrender to federal prison authorities.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.

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