Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The San Bernardino Superior Court ordered an Apple Valley woman to pay restitution of approximately $962,000 to her former employer and more than $162,000 to the state representing the unpaid tax, penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation. All income is taxable even embezzlement income. Raeanne Lacasse, 59, was sentenced to four years in state prison for three felony counts, including state income tax evasion and embezzlement with white collar crime enhancement. A San Bernardino construction company employed Lacasse between 2000 and 2010. Lacasse embezzled more than $1.1 million from her employer between 2006 and 2010 by issuing company checks to various third-party vendors for personal expenses and then reclassifying those checks as construction expenses. In addition, she forged payroll checks and deposited them into her personal bank accounts. The majority of the funds went to Lacasse’s home, car, and personal credit cards. Lacasse filed false personal income tax returns for 2006 through 2010, and failed to report more than $780,000 in embezzled income. All income is taxable including income from illegal sources. State tax crimes are often prosecuted by the local district attorney's office. In this case, the San Bernardino County District Attorneys Office prosecuted this case. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department jointly investigated the case with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and their Criminal Investigation Bureau. It is unclear whether the Franchise Tax Board aided in the investigation, but I would assume that they did. If you have questions about a state tax crime, please contact the Wilson Tax Law Group.