CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Paul Campos, middle, pleaded guilty in Circuit Court yesterday to charges of fraudulent tax returns and theft. Campos was an inmate at Waiawa when he was filing false tax returns and was getting refund checks sent to the prison.
Inmate admits to tax fraud
Paul Campos gets a five-year sentence for filing false state tax returns, getting $4,189 in refunds
A state inmate has admitted he willfully filed bogus state tax returns over a period of three years while incarcerated, obtaining a total of $4,189 in tax refunds.
Paul Campos, 52, entered guilty pleas yesterday in Circuit Court to three counts of making false and fraudulent statements on tax returns for years 2000 to 2002, two counts of second-degree theft and one count of attempted second-degree theft.
Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto accepted Campos' pleas and immediately sentenced him to five years in prison under a plea agreement. Campos was also ordered to repay the entire amount.
Campos is currently serving a 41-month federal term for filing federal employer's and individual tax returns during the same period.
He was accused of collecting more than $99,000 in employer refunds and $18,713 in individual refunds. But the U.S. Attorney's Office dropped most of the charges in exchange for his guilty plea to one count of filing an employer's quarterly federal tax return in which he received a $10,750 refund.
Campos gave a brief apology in court yesterday. His attorney later declined comment on the matter.
Campos' scheme unraveled when he received a refund check for $3,283 at Waiawa Correctional Facility, catching the attention of a clerk in the business office. Had it not been for the clerk, authorities say, Campos might not have gotten caught.
Campos is awaiting trial on Maui for a May 2005 incident in which he allegedly struck a police officer with his SUV after refusing orders to stop. The officer fired, striking Campos in the jaw.
Campos was being sought on a bench warrant that was issued after he failed to appear in court for a January 2005 case in which he allegedly stabbed a man in Kihei.
Campos has an extensive criminal history that includes 42 prior convictions and 83 arrests.