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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 4, 2009
Columbus Woman Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy

WASHINGTON - Marsha K. Parenteau of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit money laundering, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Parenteau appeared before Judge Michael H. Watson in Columbus.

During her plea hearing, Parenteau admitted that, from 2003 through 2008, she and others, including her husband, their shared accountant and her husband’s mistress, sought and obtained millions of dollars in loans from various financial institutions by falsely misrepresenting her income and assets, as well as the income and assets of others involved in the scheme.

According to the plea agreement and evidence presented during the plea hearing, Parenteau and others used the proceeds of the fraudulently obtained loans to, among other things, pay funds to her husband’s mistress and pay funds to Parenteau and her husband to fund their lifestyles, including the renovation of a property known as Loretta Estates. Loretta Estates is a mansion located on the Scioto River in Columbus, Ohio, which consists of approximately 4.5 acres with five buildings and more than 27,000 square feet of living space.

The value of the laundered funds specified in the plea for Mrs. Parenteau is between $400,000 and $1,000,000. Parenteau faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000.

Parenteau’s husband, Thomas E. Parenteau, accountant Dennis G. Sartain and realtor Bonnie Helt-Adams were charged with tax fraud, bank and wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice in April 2009. Trial is currently scheduled for July 2009 before Judge Michael H. Watson in Columbus.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco of the Justice Department’s Tax Division commended the investigative efforts of the IRS agents involved in this case. The prosecution is being handled by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Richard M. Rolwing, Jill M. Cassara, and Sean B. O’Connell.

More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/.

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