Maryland woman sentenced to federal prison for fraud schemes that resulted in losses of more than $1.4 million | USAO-MD

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett today sentenced Linda Pylant, 59, of Grasonville, Maryland, to four years in federal prison, followed by one year of house arrest as part of three years on probation, for wire fraud, social security fraud, tax evasion and aggravated identity theft in connection with schemes to defraud his employer, fraudulently obtain disability insurance payments and evade more than 225 $000 in taxes, including concealing income as part of a bankruptcy petition. As a result of these crimes, Pylant illegally obtained approximately $1.4 million. Judge Bennett ordered Pylant to reimburse the full amount of the actual losses caused by its fraud schemes and to forfeit the assets directly attributable to the fraud offenses, replacement assets and/or a financial judgment equal to the value of the derivative assets of the offence. , or $950,000.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Darrell J. Waldon of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, DC Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division.

wire fraud system

According to her guilty plea, from 2012 to approximately July 2020, Pylant worked for a Washington, D.C. trade association as an office administrator. His responsibilities included bookkeeping and other accounting duties, depositing checks, managing accounts receivable, accounts payable and other administrative duties.

As noted in her plea agreement, in October 2017, Pylant opened a bank account, allegedly for the trade association, of which she was the sole signatory, and had the bank statements sent to her home. From October 2017 to July 2020, Pylant deposited over $700,000 in checks, mostly from trade association members and insurance companies, which were intended for the benefit of the trade association. Pylant also transferred more than $70,000 of trade association funds from a PayPal account to the account she opened in the trade association’s name. In addition, Pylant admitted that she issued trade association checks payable to herself and a trade association contractor, which she signed, falsifying the names of two company executives. trade association. Pylant then deposited the forged checks into other accounts she controlled.

Pylant spent more than $175,000 of the stolen funds at a local bingo hall, used more than $100,000 for retail, restaurant and grocery expenses, and withdrew more than $200,000 in cash. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, Pylant obtained over $900,000.

Social Security and Disability Fraud

On August 18, 2015, Pylant filed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, failing to disclose that she worked and earned professional association income. SSDI payments are only made as long as recipients are unable to work and/or their income is below a certain amount. From 2018 to July 2020, Pylant illegally received and spent over $75,000 in SSDI payments to which she was not entitled.

Additionally, from approximately 2014 to 2017, Pylant provided false information to a private insurance company in order to fraudulently collect disability insurance payments. Pylant has consistently failed to disclose his professional association earnings, as well as his SSDI payments. As a result, Pylant fraudulently received over $140,000 in disability insurance payments from the private insurance company.

Tax evasion and bankruptcy

From 2014 to July 2020, Pylant had his wages paid by the trade association through a nonexistent entity, LPSR, Inc., which Pylant created but did not register with the state of Maryland. nor the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Pylant also established LPSR as a vendor in the trade association’s computer system, with no federal tax ID and no 1099 reporting status. professional association to pay LPSR more than $100,000. Meanwhile, Pylant also arranged for the trade association not to issue an IRS 1099 reporting form for LPSR. Because Pylant also made false statements to the Social Security Administration, including failing to disclose that she was employed by the trade association, she avoided paying taxes that would have been owed on her SSDI payments.

As detailed in his plea agreement, Pylant submitted false information during three Maryland bankruptcy proceedings filed on February 3, 2016, December 2020, and January 2021. Specifically, Pylant’s motions did not list his taxable income from the professional association that was paid through LPSR, falsely claimed that she had no earned income and was not required to file a tax return, did not list the trade names she had used, including LPSR, and falsely stated that his employment status had not changed since February 2016.

Pylant admitted that her tax evasion offenses caused a US tax loss of at least $233,547 and that she will have to pay restitution to the government for that amount.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, IRS-CI and SSA OIG for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Gruber, who is prosecuting the case.

For more information about the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the resources available to report fraud, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md /report-fraud.

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