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State of California Franchise Tax Board

San Diego Woman Sentenced to Four Years State Prison for Tax Evasion and Grand Theft

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For Immediate Release


Sacramento—A San Diego corporate travel planner was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison for one count of felony state income tax evasion and one count of grand theft with white collar crime enhancement, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Sarah Marie Thompson, 35, pleaded guilty in October. Thompson was employed by a pool manufacturing company and was responsible for booking travel for employees and clients. Thompson embezzled nearly $615,000 from her employer between July 2005 and June 2008. She charged personal expenses to her employer’s credit card and altered 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 gift cards in $500 increments.

Thompson filed false personal income tax returns for 2006, 2007, and 2008, and failed to claim more than $550,000 in embezzled income. All income is taxable including income from illegal sources.

Thompson was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $830,000 to her former employer a pool manufacturing company and more than $105,000 to the state representing the unpaid tax, penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman handed down the sentence in North County Department 5.

The case was prosecuted by San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn. It was also a joint investigation with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Criminal Investigation Unit.

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.

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

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