Hi-Hope fundraiser gala to be tonight

•DULUTH - The Hi-Hope Service Center will hold its 27th Annual Gala today in Duluth.

The gala is the largest annual fundraiser for the Hi-Hope center, a Lawrenceville nonprofit group that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities. The proceeds typically cover about 6 percent of the organization's annual operating expenses, the group said.

Because of the event's popularity, the black-tie optional gala is being held for the first time in the Thomas P. Hughes Ballroom in the Convention Center at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. More than 900 tickets have been sold.

The ball begins at 6 p.m. and includes live entertainment, dancing, a silent auction, a 9:30 p.m. live auction, a cash bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres.

Winder woman indicted on

tax fraud charges

•WINDER - A local woman was indicted on charges of unlawfully using other people's Social Security numbers to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.

Lisa Melinda Lyle, 37, was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the tax violations and in connection with making false claims against the United States. She was charged with six counts of presenting a false claim against the United States and four counts of unlawful use of a Social Security number and is scheduled for a bond hearing Monday.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said Lyle filed federal income tax returns in the names of relatives and acquaintances, supported by false W-2 forms containing fictitious information about the individual's employment, earnings and withholdings. Many of the people in whose names she filed income tax returns did not realize she was misusing their Social Security numbers, he said.

- From staff reports