The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, Reading resident Margherita Mauro has been charged in federal court with three counts of filing false tax returns, allegedly omitting “significant income” she received as a real estate paralegal (over $500,000.00), in addition to her salary, from two Massachusetts law firms. She is accused of failing to report the extra several hundred thousand dollars on her tax returns for 2002 and 2003. (I know the real reader questions will be what do real estate paralegals earn in Massachusetts, and how did two law firms not feel the bite of this employee’s alleged extra compensation, which both firms reported via 1099’s in 2004?)
This appears to be another situation where a non-lawyer may have had easy access to firm check books and at best, used questionable judgment when handling business accounts. At worst, if convicted for filing false tax returns, she faces three years in prison, plus probation, a $100,000.00 fine and restitution. According to the indictment, Ms. Mauro allegedly wrote and signed checks to herself from the law firms’ operating and IOLTA accounts, and then deposited some of the checks into her personal accounts and used others to make personal mortgage and credit card payments.