A federal jury has convicted an Atwater woman of impersonating an aide to then-Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater.
According to a news release from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, jurors deliberated only 15 minutes before finding Susan Tomsha-Miguel, 52, guilty of the sole count in the indictment against her: impersonating an officer or employee of the United States.
Tomsha-Miguel operated a tax consulting and bookkeeping business in Atwater.
A client, who owned a business in Merced, hired Tomsha-Miguel to resolve a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. Tomsha-Miguel sought help from Cardoza's office.
Cardoza staff members agreed to help and sent Tomsha-Miguel information that included a form printed on official congressional letterhead.
Tomsha-Miguel used that letterhead to send her client a counterfeit letter, purportedly written and signed by a congressional aide.
The letter claimed that because of Tomsha-Miguel's efforts on behalf of her client, the aide had contacted an IRS official, who in turn agreed to make resolving the client's tax dispute his "No. 1 priority" after he returned from "Washington, D.C., for an emergency strategy meeting with the U.S. treasury secretary and others for a planning session in the event a budget does not get passed by both the House and Senate."
That aide did not exist.
Tomsha-Miguel faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced June 24 in Fresno.