OAKLAND -- A Pittsburg mother and son were sentenced to prison Wednesday for conspiring to file phony tax returns, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday.

As part of a plea agreement, Tony Gilard, 45, and Tierre Crummie, 25, were sentenced to 37 months and 15 months in prison respectively, and ordered to pay $688,687 in restitution for their roles in the conspiracy, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Authorities say Gilard used other people's personal information to file fake federal income tax returns with the IRS, while Crummie provided his mother with people's bank account information and e-mail addresses. The mother-and-son duo also filed a false claim to obtain a first-time homebuyer's credit, authorities said.

A search of the defendants' Pittsburg home in April 2009 uncovered notebooks with names and personal information of others, as well as $69,800, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. In all, the scheme included 91 false filings, claiming $688,687 in federal income tax returns.

A second son, 27-year-old Kingsley Murdoch, has pleaded guilty to a charge of lying before a grand jury to impede the federal agents' investigation of his mother. He could face up to 10 years in prison and will be sentenced May 8.

David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.



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