Augusta Tax Preparer Charged With
Preparing False Tax Returns
AUGUSTA, GA: PAULA M. PENDLETON, 53, of Augusta, Georgia was charged by a federal grand jury last week in a thirteen count indictment for conspiring to defraud the United States, assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, and witness tampering. The indictment alleges that PENDLETON conspired to obtain names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of other individuals to be used in false income tax returns, to prepare and file false income tax returns, and then attempt to conceal such acts.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “The deadline has come for the so-called tax ‘professional’ whose business model involves buying and selling identity information that is used to prepare and file false tax returns that generate large fraudulent refunds. These actions are criminal and they equate to nothing more than common theft from the honest Americans. This United States Attorney’s Office will devote all available resources to identify and prosecute unscrupulous tax preparers and filers. Our community deserves nothing less.”
“The IRS-Criminal Investigation Division takes these alleged violations very seriously,” said Rodney E. Clarke, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office. “The indictment of Paula Pendleton again emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service and United States Attorney's Office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would willfully attempt to defraud America's tax system.”
If convicted, PENDLETON faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, three years imprisonment for each count of assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, and twenty years imprisonment for the witness tampering charge. Each of these charges also carries a fine of up to $250,000.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
IRS Special Agent Brian Mohrmann conducted the investigation which led to the indictment. Assistant United States Attorney David Stewart is the prosecutor in this case. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547