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Woman pleads guilty to tax fraud

WINDER - A Winder woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of identity theft.

Lisa Melinda Lyle, 39, also pleaded guilty to charges of tax fraud in federal district court, United State Attorney David E. Nahmias said.

Nahmias said Lyle stole the identity of people by using their Social Security numbers and personal information.

She pleaded guilty to six counts of making false claims against the United States by filing false tax returns and four counts of knowingly using other persons' names and Social Security numbers to make false claims against the United States.

From 1999 through 2001, Lyle electronically filed federal tax returns in her name and in the names of family members and acquaintances online, claiming refunds were owed, Nahmias said.

He said the returns contained false information relating to the employment and earnings of the taxpayers, and were supported by fraudulent W-2s. Nahmias said some of the taxpayers knew Lyle had prepared tax returns in their names, but that they had given her correct information to prepare them. Others said they did not know Lyle had prepared tax returns using their Social Security numbers.

Lyle deposited the refunds into a bank account in her name and those of relatives and a friend, Nahmias said. She could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 as to each count.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. before United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes.