After an eight-year legal fight, Placerville tax preparer Teresa Marty pleaded guilty Wednesday in a case that federal prosecutors say cost the government more than $9 million in tax refunds issued to people whose returns were phony.
Marty, 56, was the last defendant in a case the government began investigating in 2008 and that prosecutors say involved 250 tax returns filed in 26 states that sought up to $60 million in refunds.
Appearing before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento, Marty pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to defraud the United States. She faces sentencing Jan. 4 and remains free on a $50,000 unsecured bond signed by her, her husband and her son.
Under her plea agreement, Marty and two co-defendants agreed to pay $9 million in restitution.
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Marty had been a tax preparer since 1987 and later was owner of Advanced Financial Service in Placerville, where the government says the scheme began in June 2008 when she began touting a “debt relief” program to clients.
Prosecutors say that as investigators closed in, defendants in the case began filing multimillion-dollar liens against officials as a form of harassment. The federal government won a permanent injunction shutting down Marty’s tax business.
Officials considered the case one of many involving “tax defiers,” individuals who do not recognize the authority of the Internal Revenue Service.