A southwest Virginia man has pleaded guilty to participating in a tax fraud scheme while imprisoned in Tennessee.

U.S. Attorney John Fishwick Jr. said Tuesday that 36-year-old David Witt of Jonesville pleaded guilty in Abingdon to one count of false statements and one count of conspiring to defraud the federal government.

According to prosecutors, Witt gathered personal identifying information from other inmates in a Tennessee state prison and used it to submit fraudulent tax returns. Tax refunds issued in the names of those inmates were sent to Witt's accomplices outside the prison. Many of the checks were cashed at banks by people using phony power-of-attorney forms.

A co-defendant, William Ziehler, was sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison on related charges earlier this month.