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San Diego Woman Pleads Guilty to State Tax Evasion and Grand Theft

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Public Affairs Office

For Immediate Release


Sacramento – A San Diego corporate travel planner plead guilty to one count of felony state income tax evasion for filing a false return and one count of grand theft. She also admitted the “aggravated white collar crime enhancement” for stealing more than $500,000. This enhancement mandates a state prison commitment, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Sarah Marie Thompson, 35, filed false personal income tax returns for 2006, 2007, and 2008. According to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, Thompson embezzled nearly $615,000 from her employer between July 2005 and June 2008.

Thompson was responsible for booking travel for employees and clients.She defrauded her employer by charging fraudulent amounts to her employer’s credit card and altering the company’s accounts payables to cover the fraud. Thompson made unauthorized purchases for travel, clothing, motorcycles, scooters, a motorcycle trailer, household goods, and sporting event tickets. She also bought American Express gift cards in $500 increments.

FTB investigators determined that Thompson had unreported income of more than $550,000 for tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008. Thompson evaded the payment of personal income taxes of nearly $50,000. Penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation will be sought at the restitution hearing. All income, including income from illegal sources is taxable.

Thompson’s sentencing hearing is set for January 9, 2013, at the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego - North County Regional Center in Department D6.

The case was a joint investigation with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and FTB. The case was prosecuted by San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Runston G. Maino in Department 26 presided over the case.

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