When one thinks of tax fraud in California, one might think of someone hiding assets in an offshore account and not claiming the interest or dividends. Or one might think of a drug dealer or other nefarious character that does not file tax returns but drives a late model car. One probably does not think of the common everyday state worker collecting fees for documents or a Fish and Game employee collecting bribes.
And yet that is what has surfaced according to reliable news sources. A number of California state employees are suspected of tax fraud following whistleblower reports and an audit of several state departments.
The following are some of the tax fraud allegations and incidents.
- An Employment Development Department employee who helped two accomplices obtain nearly $100,000 of illegal unemployment benefits
- A Natural Resources Agency executive who accepted $50,000 in commuting costs
- A Fish and Game employee who accepted $5,000 in Home Depot gift cars from a farmer who was leasing land
- A courier and two employees who accepted cash under the table ($250,000 estimated) for documents and letters worth $15 to $20 each
In total, there were 7,000 whistleblower tips, many of which did not lead to anything resembling tax fraud or criminal activity.
In the cases mentioned above, they may be considered tax fraud because taxpayer funds were being misappropriated.
Whenever someone is being investigated or questioned about tax issues by wither the Internal Revenue Service or by state authorities, it is a wise idea to have legal counsel present as a protection.
Source: KABC-TV, "California state workers misbehaving: audit uncovers incidents," Nannette Miranda, Dec. 11, 2012
- At our San Francisco law office, we represent clients with tax issues including those dealing with potential tax fraud or other tax litigation.