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Orinda Physician Arrested on State Income Tax Charges

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Public Affairs Office
publicaffairsoffice@ftb.ca.gov

For Immediate Release

04.05.2012

Sacramento— An Orinda physician was arrested April 4 on felony charges of state income tax evasion, the Franchise Tax Board announced.

Coletta Marie Hargis, 56, is chief executive officer of Coletta M. Hargis, M.D., Inc. According to FTB special agents, Hargis allegedly received more than $1.1 million in compensation for the years 2005 - 2010 and failed to file her personal income tax returns for these same years and her corporation’s 2008  - 2010 tax returns. She faces six felony counts of tax evasion and six felony counts of deceptive conduct for the intentional concealment of income with the intent to evade tax. Each tax count carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.

Hargis owes the state more than $91,000 in unpaid personal and franchise tax. Interest, penalties, and the cost of the investigation will be added to this figure and sought as restitution.

Since the 1950s, FTB has contacted people who may have a filing requirement, but have not filed a tax return. Individuals contacted have 30 days to file their state tax return or show why one is not due. When a required return is not filed, FTB issues a tax assessment using income records to estimate the amount of state tax due. The assessment includes interest, fees, and penalties of up to 50 percent. FTB finds nonfilers by using more than 400 million income records it receives each year from third parties such as the IRS, banks, employers, state departments, and other sources.

Hargis was booked into the Contra Costa County Detention Facility in Martinez. Bail is set at $240,000 and her arraignment is not yet scheduled.

FTB’s criminal investigation program identifies and investigates cases of tax evasion and tax fraud to encourage compliance with California income tax laws and maintain the public trust.

The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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

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