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Posted at 08:28 PM ET, 09/27/2011

Former D.C. tax office employee accused of stealing $400,000

A former D.C. government employee has been charged in federal court with stealing more than $400,000 from the District’s Office of Tax and Revenue, according to court papers.

Mary Ayers-Zander was charged Monday with wire fraud in the District’s federal court in a “criminal information,” a type of document that signals a plea deal is near.

The accusation arose in the same District tax office that was at the center of a massive $48.1 million embezzlement scam that came to light in 2007.

Federal prosecutors stated in court papers that Ayers-Zander, a tax office employee, stole the money between 2007 and January of this year in a scheme that involved fraudulently adjusting withholding credits in four taxpayers’ accounts. By doing so, prosecutors wrote, the District made 48 electronic transfers totalling $365,281 to two personal accounts that Ayers-Zander controlled.

She also fraudulently adjusted withholding credits of five other people, resulting in $46,175 being issued to them, prosecutors alleged.

David Umansky, a spokesman for the District’s chief financial officer, said the alleged scheme was noticed in January by a tax office worker reviewing files as part of reforms implemented in the wake of the scam that came to light in 2007 and saw a mid-level manager who spent on designer goods among those convicted in a scheme that stretched for two decades before being uncovered, previous federal cases showed.

Umansky said D.C. officials reported the problems to city and federal authorities. Ayers-Zander no longer works for the District. Her attorney, Peter Stuart Fayne, could not be reached for comment.

By  |  08:28 PM ET, 09/27/2011

Categories:  Del Quentin Wilber, The District

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