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Oahu tax cheat collected nearly $4 million, gets 3 years in prison

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An Oahu plumber who collected a nearly $4 million tax refund he didn’t deserve then filed false liens against the federal prosecutors and federal judges assigned to his criminal case is going to prison for three years.

Francis E. Chandler, III, was sentenced to 37 months in prison Monday afternoon for filing a false claim against the government and filing false retaliatory liens against government officials. He pleaded guilty to the charges in February last year.

He collected a $3,969,012 tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service for 2007. By the time the IRS caught up with him and froze his bank account eight weeks later, he had spent all but about $900,000 of the refund.

In addition to the prison term U.S. District Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway ordered Chandler to repay the government $3,066,629.

Chandler said at his sentencing that he got associated with the wrong crowd and did things he wouldn’t want his own children to do.

Mollway rejected Francis’s explanation of what happened.

“You got $3 million of the government’s money. You’re not the victim,” she said.

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