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Azusa Couple Sentenced for State Income Tax Fraud, Grand Theft

Released: September 24, 2009

Sacramento – An Azusa woman pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft with an enhancement for taking more than $150,000 and one felony count of state income tax fraud. Her husband pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of grand theft, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

Elfrida Boutros, 49, was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in state prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $721,000 to her former employer and more than $63,000 to FTB representing the unpaid tax, interest, and the cost of the investigation. Kamal Boutros, 55, was sentenced to 3 years probation and is also jointly and severally liable for paying FTB’s restitution amount.

Elfrida Boutros was the credit manager for a Los Angeles steel company. According to court documents, Boutros abused her position of trust by embezzling more than $547,000 from her former employer during 2003 - 2006. Boutros created a false corporate bank account in the employer’s name to deposit customer payments. From this account, she was able to transfer payments to herself and her husband. Her embezzlement was discovered when a coworker noticed discrepancies on billing statements versus company records.

In addition, the couple failed to claim the illegal income on their state income tax returns for these same years. All income is taxable including income from illegal sources.

The underreporting of income or overstating deductions are part of the $6.5 billion tax gap California faces each year. The tax gap is defined as the difference between the tax that is due and the tax that is paid.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horwitz handed down the sentence September 22 in Department 50 of the Clara Shortridge Folz Criminal Justice Center. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Serena Murillo prosecuted the case.