News Briefs (Dec. 6 - Dec. 12)

12/6/2013, 2:05 p.m.

Owner of Georgia tax firm guilty in fraud scheme

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal prosecutors say the owner of a tax preparation firm has pleaded guilty in a multimillion dollar fraud scheme. U.S. Attorney Sally Yates says owner of Georgia Peach Financial and Fast Tax Service, Anita Ford, pleaded guilty Tuesday to filing false fraudulent tax returns. Yates says 49-year-old Ford electronically filed thousands of individual tax forms between 2004 and 2012 that intentionally misstated her clients’ income. Yates says Ford also filed returns on behalf of fake businesses and attached them to her clients’ individual refund forms.

Dragon Con co-founder pleads guilty

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - The co-founder of a science fiction convention pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of child molestation in Gwinnett County court. Dragon Con co-founder Edward Kramer, 52, was charged with molestation in 2000, but was declared unfit to stand trial because of a spinal condition. Kramer was accused of molesting three boys between 1996 and 2000. He was put on house arrest and ordered to have no contact with children under 16. He was given permission to travel in 2008 and authorities have said he was found in a Connecticut motel room with a 14-year-old boy in 2011. Kramer, who sat in a wheelchair and was hooked up to an oxygen tank, was sentenced to five years in prison and will receive credit for 26 months served.

2 ex-Forsyth councilmen sentenced

FORSYTH, Ga. - Federal prosecutors say two ex-Forsyth city councilmen have been sentenced to prison in a bribery scheme. James Calloway and Desi Hansford were sentenced Tuesday in federal court. Prosecutors say Calloway, who served as a council member for 22 years, has been sentenced to two years in prison. Hansford, who served as a councilman for five years, has been sentenced to 18 months. Prosecutors say the two were part of the city’s utilities committee, which oversees electric, water, sewer and telecommunications services in Forsyth. Officials say Calloway solicited a $20,000 bribe in late December of 2012 to guarantee votes on a city water waste contract. Prosecutors say Calloway split the money with Hansford and said part of his motive was to help Hansford rescue his home from foreclosure.

Coroner: Missing woman likely died of exposure

ELLENWOOD, Ga. (AP) - A county coroner says a 72-year-old woman with dementia who was found dead in Henry County likely died of exposure to the elements. Searchers found the body of Lucilla Harris of Atlanta on Saturday, near the spot where her car was located previously in Ellenwood. Relatives had reported her missing on Nov. 23.