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Watertown Woman Sentenced for Tax Fraud

Nearly everyone recognizes that theft is a serious crime. However, many don't realize that most perpetrators also commit tax crimes when they fail to inform the federal government of their stolen profits.

A former Watertown Middle School employee pleaded guilty to tax fraud and theft in Boston Federal Court recently, after a years-long scheme involving falsified substitute teacher time sheets.

The woman worked in the middle school's payroll department. One of her duties involved preparing time sheets for the school's substitute teachers. Once the time sheets had been processed, the woman received the paychecks and was responsible for distributing them to the teachers.

However, many of the time sheets the woman submitted were apparently false. Between the years of 2003 and 2010, she submitted almost 250 false time sheets and pocketed the paychecks. The woman also stole approximately $23,000 from student activities fundraisers.

Although the thefts are obviously a crime in and of themselves, the woman ran into trouble with the IRS when she failed to declare her ill-gotten gains on her federal tax returns.

Tax Crimes Bring Incarceration and Financial Penalties

Tax crimes, especially those committed in connection with theft or other crimes, carry serious penalties.

In this case, the woman was sentenced to six months in federal prison. She will also be required to pay the school district $45,000 in restitution. To satisfy the restitution requirement, the woman will relinquish her Town of Watertown pension.

You can be charged with tax fraud or evasion even if the government does not have sufficient evidence to charge you of the underlying financial crime. If you're facing an IRS investigation, contact an experienced Boston tax attorney who can help protect your rights.

Source: Watertown Patch, "Former Watertown School Employee gets 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Federal Funds," Charlie Breitrose, December 23, 2011.

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