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JANUARY 12, 2010

Boston, MA - A Reading, Massachusetts woman was sentenced yesterday in federal court to six months in prison for filing tax returns that were false because they omitted significant income she received from her work as a real estate paralegal.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division and Susan Dukes, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation - Boston Field Division announced that MARGHERITA MAURO, age 37, of Reading, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro to six months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Judge Tauro also ordered MAURO to cooperate with a civil Internal Revenue Service audit after her release from prison and to pay whatever amount is assessed.

At the plea hearing on October 8, 2009, the prosecutor told the court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the government would have proven that, from 2002 through 2004, MAURO received significant income in addition to her salary, from her job as a paralegal at the real estate law firms of Guida and Perry, P.C. and the Law Offices of Christopher T. Perry. Specifically, on numerous occasions from 2002 through 2004, MAURO issued and signed checks to herself or for her benefit from both of the firms’ operating and IOLTA accounts. She deposited some of these checks into her personal bank accounts, while she used others to make mortgage payments on property she owned and to pay personal credit card bills. This additional income ranged from approximately $152,024 in 2002 to $418,765 in 2003.

The tax returns MAURO filed for 2002 and 2003 made no mention of this significant additional income. In 2004, the law firms issued Form 1099's to MAURO, documenting the additional funds she received that year. While MAURO did list the amounts from these 1099's on her 2004 return, she falsely claimed that the 1099's were issued in error and that the amounts listed on them were not income she received.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Bookbinder of Oritz’s Economic Crimes Unit.


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