Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

EX-WIFE OF FORMER HOME DEPOT EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO TAX FRAUD

On May 14, 2009, Melissa Deaton Tesvich, ex-wife of former Home Depot employee, Anthony Tesvich, who pled guilty for one count of wire fraud, herself pled guilty to one count of filing a false tax return.

According to the Department of Justice, Ms. Tesvich filed a joint federal tax return for 2005 where she underreported her taxable income by $1.07 million and underreported taxes owed to the U.S. government by approximately $385,000. Ms. Tesvich was also served as a bookkeeper and assisted her husband in his side businesses.

On January 15, 2009, Ronald K. Johnston, a former employee of Home Depot, pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and for two counts of filing false tax returns in an attempt to defraud Home Depot. The conspiracy took place between 2005 and 2007. Specifically, Mr. Johnston received kickbacks from foreign suppliers seeking to do business with Home Depot. In return, Mr. Johnston purchased supplies on behalf of Home Depot on less than the most advantageous terms for Home Depot. Anthony Tesvich, the former husband of Ms. Tesvich, passed on kickbacks to Mr. Johnston worth thousands of dollars and paid for home improvement expenses for Mr. Johnston’s residence. As a part of the same investigation, on July 11, 2008, James P. Robinson, a former Divisional Merchandising Manager for Flooring at Home Depot, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of tax evasion related to a scheme to defraud Home Depot. On April 2, 2009, Mr. Johnston and Mr. Robinson were sentenced to serve five years and three months, which would be followed by three years of supervised release. The court ordered both to pay $1.7 million in restitution. Mr. Johnston pled guilty to the charges in January 2009 and Mr. Robinson pled guilty to the charges in July 2008.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com