Former IRS Officer Sentenced for Looting Grandmother’s Estate

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A former Internal Revenue Service employee will go to prison after she admitted to abusing her position as trustee of her grandmother's estate to divert funds to herself.

Sandra J. Valencia, of Goodsprings, NV, was sentenced last week to 33 months in prison and three years supervised release after pleading guilty in January to six counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud and four counts of tax evasion, the Associated Press reported, adding that U.S. District Judge Michael Davis also ordered Valencia to pay $605,203 in restitution.

She had been the trustee of the estate of her grandmother, Alice Wobig, who died in 1998 at the age of 93. Valencia was given power of attorney over the Minnesota woman's brokerage and bank accounts. Wobig had intended to divide the estate between her three children.

Valencia admitted to abusing her position as trustee and transferring most of the estate's more than $500,000 to herself from 1997 to 2000, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. She used the funds to purchase real estate, begin a business and to pay personal bills, the AP reported.

The AP reported that Valencia was a revenue officer and supervisory tax examiner with the IRS from at least 1985 to 1997, according to the court records. She had worked in IRS offices in Chicago and Denver, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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