Ex-wife of former Home Depot manager sent to prison

A federal judge in Atlanta on Monday sentenced the ex-wife of a former Home Depot manager to two years in prison for filing a false tax return.

Melissa Deaton Tesvich, 41, of Mobile, Ala., also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Story to pay $264,397 in restitution for filing a 2005 tax return that intentionally under-reported income by more than $1 million. She is already forfeiting three cars and two pieces of property worth an estimated $400,000, authorities said.

Tesvich’s ex-husband, Anthony Tesvich, already has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison for masterminding a conspiracy that netted him millions of dollars. Tesvich, 42, a former global product manager, pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from vendors and also paying them to Home Depot employees.

From October 2002 to October 2007, Tesvich handed out gifts such as a luxury SUV to Home Depot employees. He doled out cash in fast-food bags he called “french fries” and “milkshakes,” prosecutors said.

When he was sentenced in June, Tesvich’s reporting date to prison was delayed until mid-October so he could be with his new wife through the end of her pregnancy. The couple is expecting triplets.

While Melissa Tesvich was not charged in the kickback scheme, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said, “she knowingly joined him in filing false joint tax returns that intentionally omitted that income. She is now a felon herself and will be serving time in federal prison. ... This sad story should serve as a lesson to other spouses of criminals who join them in willfully failing to report income.”