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Woman pleads guilty to running unauthorized tax business

A 61-year-old woman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was arrested and charged with two crimes that could land her in prison for up to two years and see her fined as much as $200,000. Interestingly, both of them are misdemeanor charges. The woman pleaded guilty some time after she was charged.

According to reports, the 61-year-old used to work for the Internal Revenue Service. She spent three decades working for the federal tax agency before she called it quits in 2009. But authorities indicate that she operated a private tax and accounting business from 2005 to 2009 without acquiring a conflict of interest waiver from her employer. Prosecutors suggested that she knew she would not receive such a waiver due to the nature of the business, so she did not apply.

The charges allege that the woman had received such waivers in the past for other businesses that were not related to taxation. If this is true, it may be one of the reasons that she chose to plead guilty. In the end, she was charged with conflict of interest and exceeding authorized access to a government computer — one count of each. Both crimes hold a maximum punishment of one year in prison and a potential fine of $100,000.

Authorities said that the illegal business brought in more than $70,000 during the time that the woman was employed by the IRS. Now that her guilty plea has been filed, the only thing that is left is her sentencing, which is scheduled for September. A presentence investigation was ordered by the presiding judge. The same judge also made it known that restitution may be a possibility in this case. A legal professional is likely guiding her through this process to ensure that she receives the lightest punishment possible, especially considering the fact that she was only given misdemeanors.

Source:  Shreveport Times, "Ex-IRS agent enters plea to conflict of interest" No author given, Apr. 30, 2013

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