NORWALK WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL TAX CHARGE
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RENEE LAMAR JOSEPH, 38, of Norwalk, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of filing a false federal income tax return.
According to court documents and statements made in court, JOSEPH was the bookkeeper for Joseph Landscaping and Masonry (“JLM”), a sole proprietorship landscaping and masonry business owned and operated by her husband. JOSEPH’s responsibilities included handling JLM’s billing, receiving payments and recording payments in the business accounting software, and providing tax related information to tax return preparers.
On April 15, 2004, JOSEPH signed and filed a false joint 2003 tax return, Form 1040, that falsely represented JLM’s Schedule C business receipts as $221,621 when, in fact, the business receipts for calendar year 2003 were approximately $315,949. Instead of providing her tax preparers with bank statements or information from the business’s accounting software, JOSEPH provided summaries, which she created and adjusted, that substantially understated the business’s income.
In pleading guilty, JOSEPH also acknowledged that she told an accountant assisting her in an IRS audit in 2006 that she had “bad bookkeeping ethics.”
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for November 8, 2012, at which time JOSEPH faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $250,000.
As part of the resolution of this case, JOSEPH has agreed to make restitution in the amount of $88,095, plus penalties and interest, for the tax years 2002 through 2004. She has also agreed to meet and cooperate with the IRS concerning any outstanding tax obligations on behalf of JLM for payroll taxes and any unfiled tax returns for the period 2002 to 2010.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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