A federal judge has doubled the prison time of a woman who embezzled one million dollars from churches and other customers of her tax service.
Whether the judge can actually do that to Angela Smiley of Chesterfield is in question. Smiley’s company, American Payroll Services, was supposed to use its clients’ money to pay federal and state taxes. The taxes never got paid. Some clients had to sell houses and close businesses to pay taxes.
Smiley was sentenced to three years in prison. The judge increased the sentence to six years after finding that she lied about assets she owned and her ability to pay restitution. Smiley’s lawyer argues the judge doesn’t have a right to increase the sentence. The case likely will move to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.