A former Kansas City man pleaded guilty to his role in a fraud that used the identities of dead people to file 238 false stimulus claims and at least 28 federal income tax returns seeking refunds.

Lamar K. Johnson, formerly of Kansas City but now a resident of Eldon, Missouri, could face 10 years in federal prison with no chance of parole for the yearlong scam.

His sentencing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri is scheduled for June 21, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A grand jury indicted Johnson, Warren W. Watkins and Marissia Jackson, both of Kansas City, in 2021.

The trio are accused of using Watkins’ connections to two funeral homes to obtain identities for the false claims from March 20, 2020, through April 15, 2021. All but 12 of the identities for the false claims came from people who received services from the funeral homes.

The three sought a total of $285,600 in $1,200 stimulus payments through the CARES Act and $152,155 in tax credits and refunds, the release says. The IRS paid $4,800 of the claims.

The IRS used its taxpayer database to process the CARES Act payments, and for those who did not file federal returns, the agency set up a web portal to provide information needed to deliver the payments to a bank account, debit card account or through a check.

According to the indictment, the internet protocol address of the computers they used to access the portal and file the claims was attached to a Charter Communications account assigned to Jackson.

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