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Lizette Lathon, who ran three tax preparation services across Moreno Valley, pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to defrauding the government of $1 million through COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

Since 2014, Lathon ran Hardcore Taxes and Lathon Taxes in Moreno Valley and Miracle Tax Service on Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile. She used her former clients’ names, Social Security numbers and birth dates to apply for COVID-19 relief delivered to her and her husband, the complaint against her claimed. She filed 44 fraudulent claims to gain $998,630, the complaint claims.

She committed the fraud with her husband, Kenneth Lathon, whose plea deal was accepted Nov. 22. He  also pleaded guilty to possessing an unserialized .22-caliber rifle and 12-gauge shotgun despite felony convictions for theft, cocaine possession and fraud.

Lizette Lathon, who was also a service attendant for Amtrak from 2000 to 2021, also pleaded guilty to defrauding the Railroad Retirement Board out of $63,000 in sickness benefit payments by filing false claims that she was being treated by a doctor for pain and anxiety.

The Lathons are scheduled to be sentenced April 13, according to court documents. Lizette Lathon faces a maximum sentence of 42 years in federal prison, and Kenneth Lathon faces a maximum sentence of 32 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged them Sept. 30.

Case information

Lizette Lathon’s Case No. 5:22-cr-00229.

Kenneth Lathon’s Case No. 5:22-cr-00230.

Byron Tuyay of the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Riverside branch) prosecuted the Lathons.

Gretchen Gaspari of Beverly Hills’ DRE APC represented Lizette Lathon.

Jenae McDonald of DRE APC represented Kenneth Lathon.

California Central District Judge Fernando Olguin presided.

Read Lizette’s the information here.

Read Lizette’s the plea agreement here.

Read Kenneth’s plea agreement and information here.

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