Duluth woman pleads guilty to tax fraud
A woman accused of underpaying her Minnesota income taxes for four years pleaded guilty to four crimes on Wednesday. Pattie Lyn Fralich-Peterson, 52, of Duluth, pleaded guilty in State District Court to four counts of filing with the Commissioner...
A woman accused of underpaying her Minnesota income taxes for four years pleaded guilty to four crimes on Wednesday.
Pattie Lyn Fralich-Peterson, 52, of Duluth, pleaded guilty in State District Court to four counts of filing with the Commissioner of Revenue a false or fraudulent return in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Judge John DeSanto directed an Arrowhead Regional Corrections probation officer to investigate Fralich-Peterson's background before sentencing on Aug. 3.
According to the criminal complaint: A revenue tax specialist completed an investigation of Fralich-Peterson on Aug. 16, 2010. The investigator alleged that Fralich-Peterson substantially overstated her income tax withholdings by her employer and underpaid her Minnesota income taxes for four years. The total overstatement of state withholding is alleged to be $6,452, causing her to receive larger refunds than she was entitled to.
Between Jan. 20 and Jan. 23 of this year, a special agent with the Revenue Department criminal investigation division contacted Fralich-Peterson by telephone. The complaint alleges that she admitted to preparing the tax returns in question herself and filing them over the Internet. She admitted that the discrepancies between the withholding shown on her income tax returns and the withholding shown on her W-2s were substantial. She said she couldn't explain why there were substantial differences between the tax returns and the W-2s, why there were similar errors on each of her tax returns for 2004-2008, nor why all of the errors were in her favor.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue has a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects an individual or business is violating tax laws at (651) 297-5195 or (800) 657-3500. Tipsters may remain anonymous and also can e-mail the department at firstname.lastname@example.org . Last year, citizen tips resulted in 89 percent of the department's case referrals.