PITTSBURGH – A local woman waived indictment and pleaded guilty in federal court to aiding and assisting in the preparation or filing of a false income tax return, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady announced Thursday.
Kathy Billotte, age 59, of Frenchville, Clearfield County, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Billotte was a tax return preparer and operated a tax return preparation business known as “K B Tax Services.”
She reportedly falsified annual income tax returns prepared for at least 15 individuals during the period of 2013 through 2017, ensuring the individuals received tax refunds to which they were not entitled.
Specifically related to the offense to which she pleaded guilty, Billotte prepared and filed on Feb. 26, 2016, a 2015 federal income tax return for a taxpayer identified as “T.G.”
She falsely and fraudulently reported that he/she operated a private business and incurred business expenses, as well as inflated unreimbursed business expenses and charitable donations.
The total tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service or all 15 clients was reportedly $196,105.
Schwab scheduled sentencing for Nov. 18, at 11:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than three years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000, or both.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Billotte was released on bond pending sentencing in the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Billotte.