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Former Department of Revenue Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft of Tax Payments Made by Georgia Taxpayers

PRESS ADVISORY

Former Department of Revenue Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft of Tax Payments Made by Georgia Taxpayers

April 13, 2011

Former Department of Revenue employee Lawanda Harkness pled guilty today to six counts of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. §§ 16-8-2) and six counts of Forgery in the First Degree (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-1). She was sentenced by Judge Walter Lovett in Fulton County Superior Court to five years probation under the First Offender Act, a fine of $500 and restitution in the amount of $3,550.00.

Eight money orders that were originally intended to pay state tax obligations of Georgia taxpayers were stolen in 2008 from the mailroom of the Georgia Department of Revenue where Harkness was an employee. Harkness altered the money orders to change the payee from the Department of Revenue to Lawanda Harkness and then deposited the money orders into her personal bank account.

Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Michael McCain of the Georgia Department of Revenue.