Harriette Walters, the former tax office manager for the District of Columbia, was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison for masterminding a tax scam estimated to have cost the district $48.1 million.

Walters pleaded guilty last September to running the tax fraud scheme (see D.C. Tax Manager Pleads Guilty to $48.1M Fraud). The scam involved having relatives and associates apply for hundreds of fake property tax refunds that she and her employees would approve. Ten other people have been sentenced in the scheme, and only about $10 million has been recovered. Much of the money was spent on lavish gifts to co-workers, shopping sprees at high-end stores, and gambling trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City

Walters, 52, apologized to the court before sentencing was pronounced by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. “I’ve accepted full responsibility for the part I played,” she said.

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