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Wife of Marine captain pleads guilty to tax evasion in Iraq scam

March 18, 2010 |  2:24 pm

The wife of a Marine captain pleaded guilty Thursday in Riverside federal court to income tax evasion in a scheme in which the couple allegedly skimmed $1.75 million from contracts meant to supply equipment and other goods to troops in Iraq.

Janet Schmidt, 39, is set to be sentenced June 7. Her husband, Capt.  Eric Schmidt, also 39, is set to appear in court April 2.

Federal court records suggest Eric Schmidt also is prepared to plead guilty, although prosecutors successfully asked the judge to seal the agreement until his court appearance.

The two, who live in Murrieta, were charged with income tax evasion and wire fraud in a scheme in which Eric Schmidt, while a logistics officer in Iraq in 2008, issued contracts to an Iraqi firm. In turn, Janet Schmidt would buy less than the required amount of equipment and goods. She allegedly deposited the profits in an account controlled by the couple.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego