A fired veteran Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supervisor in Long Beach faced up to a year in prison this month for stealing more than $71,000 and lying to cover up her crimes.
But Leslie Williams, a 55-year-old Hemet resident, hoped U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford would issue a lenient punishment given her otherwise crime-free record plus consideration she’d acted in financial desperation to aid several unemployed family members.
According to federal prosecutors inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, Williams in 2016 demanded insurance benefits and the retirement savings of her onetime husband, a onetime IRS employee himself, without disclosing they had been divorced at the time of his passing earlier that year.
Those same officials, who say she compounded her situation by giving “materially false” statements to investigators reviewing her claims, recommended a punishment of formal probation for three years plus restitution.
Though Williams—who had been a 30-year veteran of the agency and considered a good employee with a hard-working ethic—sought a slightly weaker punishment, Guilford agreed to require three years of probation, home detention for six months and restitution.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.