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Santa Clarita Couple Surrender to State Income Tax Charges, Grand Theft, Embezzlement

Released: October 8, 2009

Sacramento – A Santa Clarita couple was arrested Monday on felony charges of grand theft, embezzlement, filing fraudulent state income tax returns and state income tax evasion, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

Moises Hernandez, 33, and Carolina Hernandez, 33, surrendered Monday to authorities at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Department. According to FTB special agents, from 2006 - 2008, Moises Hernandez allegedly embezzled more than $363,000 from his employer, a Los Angeles based structural concrete contracting firm.

Hernandez abused his position of trust as payroll administrator and issued unauthorized checks in the names of previously terminated employees and then either Moises or Carolina would endorse the checks and deposit them into their personal bank accounts. In addition, the couple failed to claim the illegal income on their state income tax returns.

All income is taxable including income from illegal sources. The Hernandez's owe the state more than $264,500 in unpaid tax, penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation.

The failure to file tax returns is 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 owed and the tax that is paid.

The Hernandez's are still in custody. Bail for Moises is set at $500,000 and $100,000 for Carolina. Their arraignment date has not been set. This is a joint investigation between the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and FTB.

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