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HomeNewsLocal newsPerfect Balance Trial Replaced by Scheduled Plea Hearing

Perfect Balance Trial Replaced by Scheduled Plea Hearing

The former owner of Perfect Balance Accounting Services was facing a federal trial set for Sept. 11 when a plea agreement emerged. (Source file photo)

The trial of a former St. Thomas business operator accused of diverting tax payments placed in her trust has been called off. The scheduled wire fraud trial of Alexandra Smyth will instead be replaced by a change of plea hearing.

A document declaring a deal had been reached was filed in District Court Sept. 2 by defense attorney Joseph Di Ruzzo. U.S. Magistrate Ruth Miller set a change-of-plea hearing for Sept. 15.

Smyth, former owner of Perfect Balance Accounting Services, LLC.,  is accused of taking a combined $25,000 from two tax clients on assurances that payments would be sent to the IRS on their behalf. Instead, prosecutors said, she used the money for personal expenses.

Documented withdrawals from those deposited funds showed 19 separate occasions when the alleged diversions took place. On Oct. 29, 2020, a grand jury charged Smyth with 19 counts of wire fraud. The indictment charged her with “knowingly and with intent to defraud, devise and intend to devise a scheme to defraud B.E. and P.M., and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promise.”

She was arrested in Florida in February 2022. A few days later, Magistrate Lurana Snow ordered her to appear at a detention and removal hearing back in the Virgin Islands.

If the case had proceeded to trial and ended in conviction, Smyth faced a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. As the original June 5 trial date approached, lawyers on both sides of the criminal case asked the court for more time to work out a plea deal.

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