Burlington man gets 11 years in jail for defrauding U.S. of $3.5M

A Canadian man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for helping cheat the United States out of $3.5 million.

The IRS paid out more than $3.5 million before detecting the fraud

In addition to 135 months in prison, Kevin Cyster also must pay the money back. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

A Canadian man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for helping cheat the United States out of $3.5 million.

In addition to 135 months in prison, Kevin Cyster also must pay the money back.

The Burlington, Ont., resident was sentenced Monday in federal court in Rochester, N.Y., where he was convicted in September on numerous counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit theft of government funds.

Authorities say Cyster was part of a group that filed false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service claiming millions of dollars in refunds.

In a press release, U.S. Department of Justice officials said "Cyster was a ringleader of a group of Canadian citizens who forged Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms to falsely claim that almost $10,000,000 of income had been withheld on their behalf by various Canadian financial institutions. They arranged for the false forms to be filed electronically with the IRS by Ronald Brekke."

The IRS paid out more than $3.5 million before detecting the fraud.

Renee Jarvis of Ontario pleaded guilty in 2014. Brekke of California is serving a 12-year sentence after his 2012 conviction.

The charges against Cyster carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $7M fine.

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