SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Officials announce that a man has been sentenced to prison for defrauding Scranton taxpayers of more than $250,000.

According to US Attorney Gerard M. Karam, in May 2017 Donald Royce, 46, of Orlando, Florida, admitted that, as a tax preparer working in Scranton, he defrauded a number of local taxpayers in 2014.

After providing the victim taxpayers with a “client copy” of their tax return that showed the correct refund amount, Royce submitted fraudulent tax returns to the IRS that inflated the refund due, investigators stated.

Police say after the IRS sent the refund to Royce, he kept the difference between the legitimate refund amount and the higher fraudulent amount for his own personal use.

As stated in court documents, in one case Royce instructed the clients to provide him with their tax payment, and instead of forwarding the payment to the IRS, Royce kept the payment for himself. Due to Royce’s actions, his victims suffered more than $250,000 in losses.

Royce was sentenced to 46 months in prison and a three-year term of supervised release.

The judge also ordered that the money seized from Royce be used to pay more than $336,000 in restitution to over 40 victims and the IRS and Royce must forfeit over $155,000 in proceeds of his crimes.