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Maryland woman pleads guilty to tax fraud

A 42-year-old Maryland woman had pleaded guilty to tax fraud, after being charged with failing to claim more than $382,000 that prosecutors allege she embezzled from her employer from 2007 to 2008.

According to the charges, the woman wrote checks drawn on her employer's escrow account to her husband, forged his signature and deposited the money in a private bank account. Authorities also allege the woman made exotic purchases with the money, including an expensive BMW car, antiques, jewelry and vacations.

According to authorities, the woman tended to include the term "payroll" in the memo section of many of the checks she wrote, even though her salary was paid directly by her employer, not drawn from an escrow account. Authorities began questioning her when she started simply writing the checks out to herself and noticed a gross discrepancy on her tax returns.

On top of that, the president of the company, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, claimed he was unable to make payments on mortgage loan notes because of the vanishing funds. According to authorities, he then told multiple employees to not withhold payments from entities that held mortgage notes on the properties.

Thus, clear titles were never passed to new lenders and borrowers. The insurance company behind the policies was ultimately forced to make payouts totaling $3.9 million. The president ultimately pled guilty to wire fraud, was sentenced to more than six years in prison and ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution.

The Maryland woman faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Source: citybizlist.com, "Towson Title Company Employee Guilty of Tax Fraud Due to Embezzling," Oct. 17, 2011

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