A Fannin County, Texas, woman has been sentenced to federal prison for tax evasion in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.
Chelsea Jolynn Tucker, 45, pleaded guilty to tax evasion on Nov. 4, 2020, and was sentenced to 14 months and 23 days in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan today. Tucker was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $779,664.00.
“Tax-related offenses often go hand-in-hand with other financial crimes, because the perpetrator needs to conceal their ill-gotten gains from government scrutiny,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Today’s sentence and restitution award will help to make the American taxpayer whole.”
According to public court records, from approximately 1997 to 2016, Tucker was employed by a staffing and contract services company located in Addison, Texas. In her role with the company, Tucker had various financial responsibilities, including administering payroll, preparing W-2 Forms, making employment tax deposits, paying business expenses, and monitoring the company’s tax obligations using QuickBooks and TaxGuard.
Between approximately 2012 and 2017, Tucker knowingly and willfully misappropriated and embezzled funds from the company by paying herself as both an employee and a vendor, issuing herself unauthorized bonuses and fraudulent expense reimbursements, using a corporate credit card for personal purchases, and using company funds to pay personal credit cards.
Tucker also willfully attempted to evade her income tax obligations by preparing false and fraudulent W-2 Forms, which substantially underreported the income owed to the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, Tucker failed to pay the company’s employment taxes, which she had a duty to both truthfully account for and pay. As a result of Tucker’s criminal conduct, the amount still owed to the Internal Revenue Service totals approximately $779,664.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Plano office.