A former tax examiner for the D.C. government admitted in federal court Thursday that she stole more than $400,000 in fraudulent tax refunds during a four-year span.
In pleading guilty to a wire fraud, Mary Ayers-Zander, 47, faces up to 63 months in prison under federal guidelines when sentenced on Feb. 2 in the District’s federal court.
Federal prosecutors said that Ayers-Zander orchestrated her scheme from 2007 through early this year. As a tax examiner, Ayers-Zander accessed taxpayer accounts of four people and then credited them with fraudulent withholding adjustments, prosecutors said.
In court, Ayers-Zander admitted she then made sure those credits — worth $365,281 — were routed to two personal accounts that she controlled, according to prosecutors.
She also admitted that she accessed the accounts of five other people and ensured they also received withholding adjustments. Those people collected more than $45,000 in fraudulent refunds, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors say the scam was discovered by “enhanced control techniques” put in place by the District in response to a massive $48 million tax fraud that came to light in 2007. Ayers-Zander, who was hired by the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue in 2001, was fired in June.