With tax day coming tomorrow, it’s tempting to make a few tweaks to reduce the amount of tax you owe to the federal government. But allow yourself to get carried away and you may find yourself in federal prison on tax evasion charges. The former city of Bell chief administrator was convicted of allegedly falsifying losses on his taxes, but that’s only half the story.
As the city administrator, he reportedly misappropriated taxpayer funds to pay himself a salary far in excess of what he should have received, and then claimed more than $770,000 in non-existent losses to the IRS to inflate his take-home pay up to $1.18 million per year.
He was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for tax evasion. That sentence is to be served consecutively with the 10-12 years of expected prison time he will receive for the 69 counts of corruption charges stemming from the incident. These resulted from his alleged misappropriation of public funds between 2005 and 2010 in the city of Bell. In addition to prison time, he was also ordered to pay $256,000 in restitution to the IRS.
Those that worked closely with him are also facing charges. His second-in-command was convicted of 11 corruption counts and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison last week. Finally, his accountant pled guilty to charges of aiding and abetting the filing of a false income tax return.
If you or a loved one is arrested for grand theft or tax evasion, call Orange County criminal lawyer Staycie R. Sena immediately for a free consultation at (949) 477-8088.