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Norwalk Woman Pleads Guilty To Federal Tax Charge

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk bookkeeper pled guilty Thursday to one felony count of filing a false federal income tax return, U.S. Attorney David B. Fein announced.

Court documents show that Renee Lamar Joseph, 38, filed a false tax return in 2004 while working as a bookkeeper for her husband’s landscaping company. The return represented receipts for 2003 as $221,621, when in fact they were $315,949, according to documents filed with U.S. District Court for Connecticut.

Instead of providing her tax preparers with bank statements or information from the business’ accounting software, court documents say, Joseph provided summaries, which she created and adjusted, that understated the business’ income.

Joseph pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport. In pleading guilty, she also acknowledged that she told an accountant assisting her in an IRS audit in 2006 that she had “bad bookkeeping ethics.”

As part of the resolution of the case, Joseph has agreed to make restitution in the amount of $88,095, plus penalties and interest, for 2002 through 2004, and to cooperate with the IRS concerning any outstanding tax obligations for 2004 through 2010.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 8, at which time Joseph faces a maximum term of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The matter was investigated by the IRS and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Jongbloed.

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