PLANO, Texas – A 45 year-old Texas woman has pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.
Chelsea Jolynn Tucker pleaded guilty to tax evasion before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson on Nov. 3, 2020.
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 in multiple ways. For instance, she (1) paid herself as both an employee and a vendor; (2) issued herself unauthorized bonuses; (3) issued herself fraudulent expense reimbursements; (4) used a corporate credit card for personal purchases; (5) used company funds to pay personal credit cards; and (6) issued company checks to a former employee.
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.
Under the federal statute, Tucker faces up to 5 years in federal prison at sentencing and a $100,000 fine. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentences will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Varadarajan.