Anthony Pendleton, a former revenue officer at the IRS and owner of a tax preparation business in Inglewood, CA, was convicted last week of conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false tax returns and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. Sentencing will occur on November 23.
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Pendleton, age 58, and two of his employees, Christopher Michael Edwards, 38, and Asha Delilah Lenard, 27, were accused of falsifying employment income and dependents for clients of Pendleton's Payless Tax Services in an attempt to claim improper refunds from the IRS. According to the legal newswire, LAWFUEL, the co-conspirators would add fictitious information to tax returns in an effort to claim such benefits as education tax credits or the Earned income Tax Credit. It is unclear whether the taxpayer/clients whose returns were filed by the group were aware of the scheme.
Pendleton was arrested in February, 2008. He had been a revenue officer with the IRS for 14 years. The two Payless employees have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.