LawFuel – Legal Announcement Service – Attached is the IRS-Criminal Investigation press release regarding today’s guilty plea entered by Asha Delilah Lenard:
Lenard, who was employed by co-defendant Anthony Pendleton, owner of Payless Tax Services, located in Inglewood, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 286. Lenard pleaded in federal court before United States District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II.
According to the plea agreement, beginning in or around 2000, and continuing to in or around June 2003, in Los Angeles County and elsewhere, Lenard and co-defendants
Anthony Pendleton and Christopher Michael Edwards conspired and agreed to defraud the government with respect to fraudulent claims for tax refunds to the IRS through Payless Tax Services.
According to the plea agreement, by taking part in the scheme, Lenard knowingly caused at least 168 false returns to be filed with the IRS, which claimed a total of approximately $546,042.00 in false refunds from the government. As a result of filing these fraudulent returns, defendant and her co-conspirators caused the IRS to issue tax refund checks that resulted in a total loss to the government of approximately $161,129.00, of which they took a substantial portion for themselves.
“IRS-Criminal Investigation will aggressively investigate individuals who file false claims with the government for their own personal financial benefit,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge, Catherine D. Tucker, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Los Angeles Field Office. These dishonest individuals undermine the integrity of our tax system, and IRS-Criminal investigators will continue to combat crimes aimed at defrauding our government.”
Lenard is scheduled to be sentenced on January 26, 2009 at 10:00AM before United States District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II.