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Marc Walker, a 53-year-old Amherst man was spared a prison term Friday for filing false federal income tax claims but Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny ordered him to make restitution to the Internal Revenue Service of $23,694. He also was placed on probation for two years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski said that for the tax years 2007 through 2011, Walker, then employed by American Airlines, filed fraudulent tax returns claiming he was entitled to total refunds of more than $46,000; he received refunds of $23,694 for those years.

The criminal case developed because Walker submitted fake W-2 forms to an auditor reviewing a business venture Walker operated while working for the airline. But the authorities ultimately obtained the true W-2 forms the airline gave Walker and he became the subject of a criminal investigation that led to his conviction.