Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for filing phony tax returns

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The man who operated a Kissimmee tax office is facing three years in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns, WFTV found out Thursday.     

The office was called place was called Taxes by Mr. Bill.

The IRS said Bill Gatlin stole $2.7 million through phony exemption claims.

Gatlin admitted to WFTV that he made a mistake and hopes others can learn from his.

In May 2009, Gatlin's office was raided.

According to the IRS, Gatlin filed returns that claimed false tax credits, like first-time home buyer exemptions and deductions for phony businesses.

Gatlin is set to start his prison sentence in March.

"What I'm going through, I wouldn't want to happen to someone else. Might be a good deterrent not do anything like that," said Gatlin.

Gatlin said he hopes others will learn from his mistake.

The IRS said Gatlin's customers did not know about the false returns, but now they have to pay fines for his actions.

"Of course I regret it. I wish any of this could have been avoided, but it is what it is, and you can't reverse time. I'll take my lickings," said Gatlin.