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Former government worker pleads to tax-related crimes

An employee who once worked at the District of Columbia's tax office has pled guilty in federal court to conspiracy to defraud the government as well as first-degree theft. These charges stem from tax crimes allegedly committed while the woman was working part-time at a Washington tax service in 2009 and 2010.

The prosecutors in the case claim that the woman helped 282 people or companies file fraudulent tax returns with the District of Columbia as well as 973 fraudulent returns with the federal government. She was accused of supplying receipts for charity spending that were fraudulent so that tax filers could claim deductions. The activity took place over the 2008 and 2009 tax seasons, but some of the fraudulent refunds dated back to 2006. The total taken in the fake receipt scam has been estimated at $14.7 million.

Not all tax-related crimes are as clear as this one appears to be. Individual taxpayers may find themselves as the target of an Internal Revenue Service investigation as a result of the behavior of other people such as unscrupulous or sloppy tax preparers.

Innocent taxpayers can be caught up in schemes such as this and may suffer from the fallout of offices and employees that are engaged in criminal activity. When someone is accused of tax crimes, it is very important to seek good legal advice. A tax litigation attorney may be the best choice in these cases because these attorneys understand not only the criminal aspects of the case but the tax implications as well.

Source: The Washington Post, "Former DC tax worker pleads guilty in theft scheme that netted $4M in fraudulent refunds," Nov. 1, 2012

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