Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Former McGuire Woods Partner Pleads Guilty to Tax Charge
By a MetNews Staff Writer
An attorney who was a partner in the Century City offices of a national law firm pled guilty yesterday to interfering with efforts by the Internal Revenue Service to collect well over $100,000 in federal income taxes the lawyer had not paid, prosecutors said.
†Michelle Renee Walker, 42, pled guilty to interfering with the administration of the IRS, specifically admitting that she provided the law firm with a falsified IRS document. The bogus document purported to lift a levy the IRS had placed on partnership payments from the law firm to Walker.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen A. Cazares said Walker resigned from the law firm, which cooperated with the investigation by the Department of the Treasury. He would not name the firm, but an Internet search showed that Walker worked for McGuire Woods in Century City.
Walker pled guilty before U.S. District Judge George H. Wu, who is scheduled to sentence her on June 20. The statutory maximum sentence is three years in federal prison, but Cazares said the government agreed to recommend a low-end guidelines sentence of 10 months.
By pleading guilty, the government explained in a release, Walker admitted that she owed federal income taxes for the tax years 2006 through 2008, and that the unpaid taxes totaled more than $110,000 by February 2010.
After the IRS served the law firm with a levy to collect any partnership payments to the attorney, Walker provided the firmís general counsel with a phony IRS form that purported to release the tax levy.
Walkerís lawyer, Deputy Federal Public Defender Chase Scolnick, declined to comment.
State Bar records show Walker, a graudate of the University of Illinois and Pepperdine University School of Law, located at Walker Law Corporation in Los Angeles, but the listed phone number has been disconnected. She has no record of public discipline, but faces possible disbarment as a result of the conviction.
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