Crime - Sacto 911

Placerville tax preparer pleads guilty in ‘tax defier’ fraud

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.

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.

Sam Stanton: 916-321-1091, @StantonSam