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Calistoga Woman Faces Elder Abuse, State Income Tax Fraud, Other Charges

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Public Affairs Office
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For Immediate Release

04.28.2011

Sacramento – A Calistoga woman was arrested last week on felony charges of elder abuse, grand theft, money laundering, and six counts of filing fraudulent state income tax returns, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) reported.

Denise Conophy, 51, a self-employed bookkeeper, allegedly embezzled more than $502,000 from her former employer. According to FTB special agents, in 2003, an elderly Yolo County woman hired Conophy to perform bookkeeping duties. By late 2003, Conophy allegedly began withdrawing money from the victim’s various financial accounts. In addition to paying her own personal expenses, Conophy used the stolen funds to purchase rental property in Santa Rosa and vacation property in Oregon. The scheme was discovered when family members noticed a significant drop in funds in a family trust account.

In addition, Conophy failed to report the embezzled income on her 2004 – 2009 state income tax returns. She owes the state more than $33,400 in unpaid tax. This amount plus penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation will be sought as restitution.

All income, including income from illegal sources is taxable. Each tax count carries a maximum term of three years in state prison.

Conophy’s arraignment is tentatively scheduled for April 26, 2011, in Department 9 of the Yolo County Main Courthouse.

Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Michael J. Cabral is prosecuting the case. This is a joint investigation between the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and FTB.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit: taxes.ca.gov.

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