GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham man accused of filing nearly two dozen false federal tax returns will spend more than two years in prison.

Markeith Jamar Norman, 56, was sentenced Friday to 27 months for aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston said.

He also was ordered to pay $375,390 in restitution.

Court documents indicate Norman worked as a tax preparer for two companies from 2014-19, when he made various false claims to get bigger tag refunds for his clients.

Prosecutors say Norman prepared and filed at least 23 false federal tax returns, some with fake reports of education credits and deductions unbeknownst to his clients.

Both of his former employers said preparers may not receive cash payments from clients. But multiple clients told investigators that Norman asked for payments of up to $500 for preparing those returns.

They said Norman told them to deposit checks and pay him in cash, and investigators say that since 2014 Norman failed to report any income earned as a tax preparer, and in 2017 and ’18 failed to file any tax returns at all.