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Former Payroll Clerk Sentenced for State Income Tax Evasion and Grand Theft

Released: August 24, 2009

Sacramento – A former payroll clerk was sentenced to three years and four months in state prison after pleading to felony charges of grand theft and filing a false state income tax return, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

Penny J. Blackburn, 44, was employed as a payroll clerk for a Sacramento construction firm. From March 2004 – December 2008, Blackburn abused her position of trust by writing extra payroll checks to herself totaling more than $300,000. In addition, Blackburn failed to claim the embezzled funds on her state income tax returns. All income is taxable including income from illegal sources.

Total restitution was ordered in the amount of $376,591 with $32,896 ordered for FTB representing the unpaid tax, penalties, interest and cost of the investigation, and the balance for the former employer.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage handed down the sentence Friday in Department 62 of the Sacramento County Superior Court. Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Alan Hengel prosecuted the case. This was a joint investigation between the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and FTB.