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Former Stillwater mayor will spend a year in prison for tax fraud scheme

He'll also have to pay the IRS more than $2 million.

The former mayor of Stillwater is going to spend the next year in a federal prison. 

Ken Harycki, who abruptly resigned as mayor in November 2014, was finally sentenced after pleading guilty in 2015 to his involvement in a multi-million dollar tax fraud scheme

His sentencing had been delayed a few times because he agreed to help in the investigation. And on Wednesday a judge sentenced him to a year and a day in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota says

Harycki has also been ordered to pay $2.17 million in restitution to the IRS. 

What he did

Harycki – who owned businesses that provided tax-related services and bookkeeping – admitted he prepared and filed fake tax returns and forms for business owners Thurlee and Roylee Belfrey, who are brothers from St. Paul. 

It all began in 2007, a year after Harycki was elected mayor of Stillwater, with the scheme costing the government more than $2 million in tax revenue. 

The Belfrey brothers reportedly used the money that didn't go to the IRS to try and develop a reality show based on their lives, as well as buy high-end housing, a Caribbean cruise and other luxury items, the U.S. Attorney's Office said

Meanwhile, Harycki didn't benefit financially from the scheme, the Pioneer Press says

As part of a deal to get a lesser sentence, Harycki agreed to help officials investigate and charge the Belfrey brothers, the release said. And because he helped, Harycki was given the lightest sentence the judge could impose, the Pioneer Press adds. 

The Belfrey brothers pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges related to the scheme.

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