Bookkeeper stole extra than $1 million from little companies across Massachusetts, federal prosecutors say

Patricia Lindau, whose agency supplied payroll and payroll tax products and services to modest organizations from Maine to Cape Cod, has agreed to plead guilty to rates she pocketed revenue set apart by her customers for payroll taxes, in accordance to paperwork filed Monday in US District Court.

Lindau, 65, of Newburgh, Maine, will plead responsible to 1 rely of wire fraud and a person rely of tax evasion. Under the plea settlement, prosecutors will propose she serve practically five a long time in prison. She has also agreed to spend restitution of $1,393,430 which includes virtually $1.1 million in taxes she didn’t shell out for her consumers.

She is also essential to spend $272,138 to the IRS.

Prosecutors claimed that between 2017 and the spring of 2020, Lindau failed to shell out payroll taxes she withdrew from her clients’ accounts, alternatively transferring the funds to her company’s examining account.

But each individual 7 days, she sent her shoppers a report “falsely indicating that the money experienced been compensated,” prosecutors stated.

Last July a number of victims — who included 18 modest restaurant and two bakery entrepreneurs, an electrician, and a newsstand operator — told The Boston Globe they were being shocked when they uncovered that Lindau, who ran Northeast Abacus Inc., experienced not been making tax payments on their behalf.

They explained her as a pleasant female who would chat with them about the telephone for hours, inquiring about their lives and their children. She began the business in Newburyport, but later on moved to Maine.

They acquired an e-mail in May telling them that she could no longer provide payroll companies “due to unexpected circumstances.” There was no rationalization and their phone calls and e-mails went unanswered.

When she disappeared — her web page long gone, her telephone disconnected — some feared she had fallen target to the coronavirus.

But when the company house owners started obtaining overdue tax notices, they understood they experienced been swindled.

Some questioned Lindau about the delinquency letters but she usually confident them they were being mistakes and she offered “documentation” to show it.

Sooner or later some of the them, which include George Lambos, the owner of Fresco’s Roast Beef & Seafood in Malden, sued Lindau. He sought to recover $130,000 in taxes he owed the state and federal government. But just after Lindau and her husband filed for individual bankruptcy in June, his fit was dismissed.

Lindau’s attorney, Carmine Lepore, Monday reported his consumer agreed to plead responsible since she is “extremely remorseful and does not want to drag the matter out further more.”

Questioned about the prospective prison phrase Lindau is dealing with, Lepore advised he may possibly ask the decide for a lighter sentence. The prosecutor recommends the sentence but the decide can impose any sentence he or she feels is correct.

“The plea agreement has been crafted just after months of negotiations with the United States attorney’s business, a evaluate of the evidence, and the application of the sentencing recommendations,” Lepore claimed. “Both sides agree on the offense level dependent on the details, however we are free of charge to seek a sentence beneath the pointers.”

Some of Lindau’s former customers explained they are pleased she is struggling with prison time, but ponder if they will at any time see any of the cash she stole from them. They have been compelled to shell out the IRS the taxes that Lindau unsuccessful to pay out. Some said they had hoped Lindau’s spouse would also be charged.

“I’m extremely content to hear that she’s going to jail,” Lambos claimed. “She fully commited crimes and ought to fork out for it. It is a relief to ultimately get some sort of closure. Do I hope I’ll get the income again? Unquestionably. I’m heading to keep the faith and acquire whichever I can get.”

John Damroth, who owns Earth Documents in Cambridge, and experienced performed enterprise with Lindau for much more than 30 many years, mentioned he hopes he has a possibility to explain in court docket the toll the encounter has taken on him.

“If there were a listening to where by I could say my piece, I would thrust for it,” said Damroth, who lost $25,000.

“It would be tough for her to stay away from getting nailed. But what about my dollars?” he requested. “I really do not contemplate myself ultrasensitive, but this definitely wore on me. I guess it is one of people everyday living lessons.”

In all, prosecutors claimed, Lindau unsuccessful to change over much more than $2 million in taxes, in the end leading to a reduction to her clients of far more than $1.1 million.

Andrea Estes can be arrived at at [email protected]

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