Former Law Office Manager Sentenced to 21 Months in Federal Prison
Memphis, TN – Misty West, 41, of Olive Branch, Mississippi was sentenced to serve 21 months in federal prison for filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013-2015. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence today.
According to a superseding indictment, returned by the federal grand jury in February of this year, West, the former office manager, bookkeeper and paralegal at the Fowler Law Firm, engaged in a scheme to defraud the law firm and its owner, Charles Wesley Fowler, of more than $400,000 between August 2011 and July 2016.
The superseding indictment also alleged that West filed false tax returns for calendar years 2013-2015 by substantially underreporting her total income for those years. West entered a guilty plea to the tax charges in July.
United States District Judge Thomas L. Parker, also ordered West to pay restitution to the United States in the amount of $80,974 and to the Fowler Estate and its insurer CAN Financial in the total amount of $410,000.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "This defendant victimized her employer and defrauded the United States by using her position of trust to commit crimes of dishonesty. Financial fraud does not pay, and this office will aggressively prosecute these cases to hold offenders accountable and provide restitution to the victims and the government."
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carroll L. Andre´ III and Lorraine Craig prosecuted the case on the government’s behalf.