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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR refugee convicted of tax fraud in the US

KR refugee convicted of tax fraud in the US

A Khmer Rouge refugee living in America faces a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for a tax-fraud scheme, even though she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, court records show.

Margaret Mathes, 67, one of her daughters and two of her sons-in-law were convicted after pleading guilty last August to running an off-the-books scheme. By paying workers in cash from 20 different bank accounts, the family hid more than $25 million of paid wages from US tax collectors, or more than 12 times the reported figure, press releases from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Attorney’s Office show.

The family operated a temporary employment agency in Lowell, Massachusetts,where their under-the-table payroll ploy defrauded the Internal Revenue Service between 2004 and 2012. The family was also convicted of underpaying insurance premiums.

Ahead of this week’s sentencing, the prosecutor requested a 48-month imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release in light of Mathes’s old age and recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.



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