Tax preparer sentenced to 3 years for extortion of rival

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HARRISBURG, Pa –  Maria Colvard, 50, of Chambersburg, was sentenced today to 3 years in federal prison, for extortion in connection with an attempt to shut down a rival tax preparation business.

 
Colvard was convicted in June 2015 after a four-day jury trial on two counts of extortion and one count of aiding the impersonation of an employee of the United States.

 
According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, between February and May 2013, Colvard convinced an employee at Tax Max LLC, a tax preparation service owned by Colvard in Chambersburg and Hanover, to claim to be a criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service to shut down the rival business, known as Christina’s Tax Service, also located in Chambersburg.

 

The employee, Merarys Paulino, then claimed to be an IRS agent and demanded money from Christina’s Tax Service as well as its client list. Paulino previously entered a guilty plea to impersonating an IRS agent.
Colvard also faces deportation as a non-citizen.