305 371-8101

Tax Preparer Argued Court's Sentence Did Not Adequately Consider Her advanced Age

U. S. v. WASHINGTON, U.S. App. LEXIS 14303 (7th Cir. 2010)

Defendant was 64 years old when a jury found her guilty on 17 counts of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343, and 7 counts of presenting false claims to the Internal Revenue Service, 18 U.S.C.  287. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, sentenced her to a total of 41 months imprisonment and ordered restitution. She appealed.

Defendant argued that the district court's explanation for her prison sentence was inadequate to demonstrate that the district court gave adequate consideration to her advanced age and medical history. She worked for a tax-preparation service and had stolen the identities of 11 clients, filed false federal income tax returns in their names. She likewise filed false returns for herself and her husband. She also defrauded the Social Security Administration (SSA). She was the representative payee for an elderly man with schizophrenia. After he died, she deposited his benefit checks directly into her bank account for 14 years until she was confronted by an SSA agent. There was no reason for the district court to mention defendant's age because it was never an issue. Defendant's contention that her health was a relevant factor was never developed in the district court and thus was so weak that no response by the district court was necessary.

Further, she never contended that her maladies were themselves imprisoning, i.e., that she was bedridden or that her conditions required a level of care that the Bureau of Prison could not have provided.

The judgment was affirmed.

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