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A Hamburg man convicted of impersonating a federal officer was sentenced Tuesday to one year of probation by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

In March 2009, Jack DeMeo, 52, owner of Southtown Sports, Inc., pretended to be a revenue officer with the Internal Revenue Service and sent false levy releases to several companies with which Southtown Sports did business, said Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse.

The IRS began a collection action against DeMeo and his company. The assigned revenue officer issued levies to companies that owed money to Southtown Sports and instructed them to send all payments directly to the IRS. The revenue officer later issued levy releases to several of the companies.

DeMeo took one of the legitimate levy releases and accompanying letter from the revenue officer and altered the documents by removing any reference to the company to which the paperwork was originally sent. DeMeo then faxed the fraudulent levy release and letter to several companies that previously received levies. DeMeo told the companies to forward all money owed to Southtown Sports rather than to the IRS.