Buffalo woman pleads guilty to tax evasion and falsifying a passport application
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Diane Abram, 61, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William M. Skretny, to tax evasion and making false statements in a passport application. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, a fine of $350,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O'Donnell, who is handling the case, stated that in January, 2013, the defendant applied for a U.S. Passport, in the name Diane Ballard, at the U.S. Passport Office in Buffalo. On the application, the defendant failed to disclose that she had previously utilized the name Diane Abram, and had previously obtained passports in the name Diane Abram. The passport office detected the fraud and Abram admitted that she lied on the application and intentionally attempted to obtain passports in two separate names and social security numbers to avoid collection of outstanding taxes.
Further investigation revealed that the defendant owed the Internal Revenue Service approximately $25,000 and that she ignored and evaded collection efforts by using an alternate name and social security number, and by failing to notify the IRS of this alternate name and social security number.
The plea is the culmination of a joint investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge Toni Weirauch, and Agents of the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Roy Stillman.Sentencing is scheduled for January 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.