Skip to main content
Press Release

San Ramon Attorney Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion And Eavesdropping Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO - Mary Nolan, a family law attorney in San Ramon, California, pleaded guilty in federal court on September 27, 2013, to four counts of tax evasion and one count of unlawful interception of communications, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag.

Nolan, 61, entered guilty pleas to all of the substantive counts in the indictment. According to her plea agreement, Nolan willfully evaded more than $400,000 in federal taxes between 2005 and 2009. Nolan agreed to pay $468,918.01 in restitution, and admitted having obstructed justice by submitting false contracts to the IRS during an audit. Additionally, according to the plea agreement, Nolan caused her staff to illegally eavesdrop by accessing a listening device that private investigator Christopher Butler had installed in a vehicle used by “N.F” (a victim). Nolan agreed to resign her bar license and never to practice law again.

Butler, who pleaded guilty to unlawful interception and several other offenses on May 4, 2012, admitted having installed approximately seventy-five to one hundred unlawful listening devices at the request of clients or their attorneys, including the listening device in “N.F.’s” vehicle in August 2007. Butler was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment on this charge, to be served concurrently with the 96-month sentence on his other counts of conviction.

Nolan was indicted on September 6, 2012, by a federal grand jury charging her with tax evasion for the years 2005 through 2009, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201; unlawful interception of communication, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(a) and (4)(a); and conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

Nolan’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 15, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Court Judge. The maximum penalties for each of the five counts to which Nolan pleaded guilty are five years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Hartley M. K. West is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Helen Yee and Rosario Calderon. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

(Nolan indictment )



Updated November 18, 2014