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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 7, 2014

Clinton Township Resident Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

Lamarjorie Pharr, 33, formerly of Clinton Township, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of filing false claims against the United States, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. 

Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge Carolyn Weber, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

According to court records, from September 2009 to March 2012, Pharr prepared and electronically filed more than 250 federal income tax returns.  Pharr filed the returns electronically from, among other places, hotels in Detroit, Miami Beach and Atlanta.  The tax returns were filed in the names of individuals, both living and deceased, whose personal information Pharr had obtained without the knowledge of those individuals or their survivors or estates.  The tax returns claimed refunds of approximately $1.4 million.  The refunds were based on false information in the returns relating to dependents, various tax credits (e.g., earned income credit), and tax withholdings.  Pharr received more than $962,000 in refunds, which were deposited into bank accounts that he controlled. 

Pharr entered the guilty plea in United States District Court before Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen.
   
A sentencing hearing was set by Judge Rosen for July 7 at 2 pm.  The maximum penalty for filing false claims against the U.S. is imprisonment of not more than five years and a $250,000 fine.  

The investigation of this case was conducted by Special Agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hiyama.

Updated March 19, 2015