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SMYRNA, Ga. -- A Smyrna man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for filing thousands of fraudulent tax returns, illegally netting more than $5 million in the process.

Mauricio Warner, 38, was convicted in April of 16 counts each of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and filing false claims, and two counts of money laundering. Several people whose identities he stole testified against him.

As part of his sentence, Warner must also pay $5,041,869 in restitution and spend three years on supervised release after getting out of prison.

From January 2011 to April 2012, Warner filed more than 5,000 false tax returns. The U.S. Attorney's Office called it one of the largest tax fraud cases it had ever seen.

Prosecutors said Warner lured in victims by telling them to use their names and Social Security numbers to apply for "Free Government Money" or an "Obama stimulus payment." Once he received their personal information, Warner claimed fake income amounts and student credits for them, then filed the bogus returns.

Warner's activity was investigated by the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS.

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