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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chambersburg Woman Pleads Guilty To Scheme To Impersonate An Irs Agent And Interference With Commerce By Threats

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Maria Colvard, age 49, of Chambersburg, has pled guilty to aiding and abetting impersonation of an employee of the United States, and interference with commerce by threats.  Colvard entered her plea before United States Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner, in federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on January 6, 2015.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, between February and May 2013, Colvard convinced an employee at Tax Max LLC, a tax preparation service owned by Colvard, to claim to be a criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service to get money and a client list from a rival tax preparation business and to ultimately shut down the rival business.

Colvard was indicted in June 2013, arrested and released pending trial.  A superseding indictment was filed in November 2013.  While trial was pending, Colvard allegedly offered her employee $50,000 if she would take sole responsibility for the crimes without cooperating with law enforcement or involving Colvard.  On January 6, 2014, Colvard attempted to get her co-defendant not to testify against Colvard.  Part of the conditions of Colvard’s pre-trial release required Colvard not to have any contact, direct or indirect, with her co-defendant.  The second superseding indictment was filed on January 15, 2014, additionally charging Colvard with two counts of witness tampering.  Colvard was re-arrested and has been detained since January 16, 2014.

Judge Conner tentatively scheduled sentencing for April 14, 2015.

This case is being investigated by the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is five years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 16, 2015