EX-AUGUSTA TAX PREPARER SENTENCED TO 41 MONTHS
IN PRISON FOR PREPARING FALSE TAX RETURNS
AUGUSTA, GA: PAULA M. PENDLETON, 54, formerly of Augusta, Georgia, was sentenced last week by United States District Court Dudley H. Bowen, Jr. to 41 months in prison for conspiring 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.
Evidence presented at hearings in this case showed that PENDLETON taught others how to prepare false income tax returns that exploited the Earned Income Tax Credit. Two tax preparers who learned from PENDLETON are KISHA KUWANDA MCCLADDIE and LINDA PERKINS ZIEGLER who were sentenced in federal court in 2011 to 20 and 18 months imprisonment, respectively.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “This defendant not only prepared false tax returns that stole tens of thousands of dollars from our country, she taught others to do the same. Her sentence should serve as a lesson to all who are tempted to follow her example; lying on tax returns can result in a lengthy prison stay.”
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot said, “Return preparer fraud is like a contagious disease, it affects not only the preparer, but the individuals who have filed false information with the Internal Revenue Service. It is our hope that Ms. Pendleton's sentence will send a strong message that tampering with the integrity of our nation's tax system can result in jail time.”
In addition to her prison sentence, PENDLETON was ordered to pay restitution, as well as serve three years of supervised release after she is released from prison. Regarding the length of the prison sentence, Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system.
IRS Special Agents Andres Hernandez and Brian Mohrmann conducted the investigation of PENDLETON. Assistant United States Attorney David Stewart prosecuted the case. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.