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Accountants Behaving Badly: 367 *Years* In Jail, Scamming the Elderly, Wire Fraud Indictment

Plus, Kia Motors bookkeeper’s embezzlement case continued to January, and tax preparer gets 27-month sentence in scheme to defraud the U.S.

Accountant sentenced to 367 years in prison []
A court in Colombo, Sri Lanka, sentenced Hikkaduwa Liyanage Nandasiri, the former accountant of a public company, to 367 years of rigorous imprisonment [emphasis added] after he was found guilty of defrauding over Rs 2 million from the company by presenting forged documents.

It was uncovered that the accountant engaged in the fraud between January 2000 and January 2001.

He was found guilty of 19 charges by the Colombo High Court.

Newton accountant sentenced for wire fraud and filing false tax return [Justice Department]
Jeffrey Kellem was sentenced to 42 months in prison on Dec. 4 for embezzling $1.6 million from elderly clients and failing to pay taxes on the embezzled funds.

Jeffrey Kellem

He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $1,289,002 and a fine of $250,000.

Kellem pleaded guilty in September to four counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.

Kellem used his position as an accountant for an elderly client, and the estate of a deceased client, to steal more than $1.6 million for his own use. He transferred his clients’ funds, without their authorization, to bank accounts he opened and controlled. He also failed to report more than $500,000 in income from the funds he took on his tax returns. As a result, in 2017, Kellem avoided paying taxes totaling more than $150,000.

Former Upper Valley accountant to plead to wire fraud; allegedly stole $1.2M from clients [New Hampshire Union Leader]
Ryan Wall, the owner of TSBS Payroll in West Lebanon, NH, is set to plead guilty after he was indicted on federal wire fraud charges alleging he stole $1.2 million from his clients.

Wall was indicted by a grand jury in Vermont on one count of wire fraud and one count of unlawful transportation of firearms. Wall now intends to change his not guilty pleas; he is scheduled for a change of plea hearing on Dec. 19 at the federal courthouse in Rutland, VT.

“(Wall) accomplished this theft by regularly issuing checks payable to himself, in excess of his authorized compensation, then cashing the checks or depositing them into a personal bank account,” the indictment states. “He also issued, without authorization, hundreds of checks to third parties. Those third parties then cashed the checks and gave the money back to Wall, or used the funds to buy [prescription] drugs that were given to Wall.”

Danbury dealership embezzlement case to resume next month [Greenwich Time]
The case of a former Kia Motors bookkeeper accused of misappropriating tens of thousands of dollars from the car dealership has been continued to next month.

Larnell Colontonio

Larnell Colontonio, 40, is scheduled back in court for a first-degree larceny charge Jan. 22, 2020, after her case was continued on Dec. 6 at state Superior Court in Danbury, NY.

Colontonio was arrested July 2, after police say she stole more than $100,000 from Kia Motors of Danbury over the course of nearly five years. She pleaded not guilty to the class B felony charge.

Waco tax return preparer sentenced to prison for defrauding the United States [Justice Department]
Janell Lightner was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Dec. 5 for her role in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

Lightner and her co-defendant, Stacey Anderson, prepared false tax returns for clients of Anderson’s tax return preparation business, Anderson Professional Tax Services. Anderson operated the business out of her residence in Waco, TX, but she and Lightner prepared tax returns for clients in Texas, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

From 2013 through 2014, Lightner assisted Anderson in preparing fraudulent returns that inflated deductions and claimed false education credits in order to increase client refunds. Lightner’s conduct caused a tax loss of more than $1.3 million to the IRS.

Lightner was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution in the amount of $1,337,800.88. Anderson was given an 87-month jail sentence on Oct. 9, and ordered to pay more than $8 million in restitution.

Richland tax preparer indicted for filing fraudulent tax returns [Tri-City Herald]
Jonathon F. Schumann, the owner of J’s Income Tax in Richland, WA, was indicted Dec. 3 on federal charges he filed individual returns for clients who claimed inflated refunds.

He allegedly prepared and filed at least 16 false and fraudulent returns for 2015 and 2016.

Federal prosecutors allege Schumann knew his clients were not entitled to the money when he prepared individual income tax returns claiming inflated refunds.

The illegal refunds were based on itemized deductions by falsely claiming things like charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee business expenses and personal property and sales taxes, the indictment states.