Ex-Clerk Sentenced For Lying For a Loan

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By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 14, 2008

A federal judge sentenced a former employee of the D.C. tax office to three years of probation yesterday for making a false statement on a mortgage application.

Temika Gustus, 28, pleaded guilty in August to lying on a mortgage application by falsely claiming that she had a second job and inflating the balance of one of her bank accounts by $20,000, federal prosecutors said. Federal agents were led to Gustus during their investigation of the D.C. tax scam, which siphoned almost $48.1 million from the District over almost 20 years.

Gustus is not accused of having any involvement in the scandal. But one of the scheme's key members, Alethia Grooms, is accused of playing a role in Gustus's mortgage fraud. Grooms used a computer to create fake pay stubs and W-2 forms and also forged a bank statement to help Gustus get a loan for her house in Capitol Heights, prosecutors said.

Gustus's mother, Diane, attended the hearing before U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. In September, prosecutors dropped charges in the tax scam case against Diane Gustus, who had also worked in the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue and had been a close friend of the scheme's mastermind, Harriette Walters.

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