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Criminal Corner

We are committed to closing California's $6.5 billion tax gap, defined as the difference between tax that is owed, and tax that is paid. Our special agents work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies throughout California to uncover illegal behaviors that contribute to the tax gap. These include underreporting income, overstating deductions, failing to file returns, failing to pay taxes due, and making illegal cash payments to employees.

Tax fraud is not a victimless crime. You can report suspected tax fraud by calling FTB at (800) 540-3453.

Agua Dulce woman pleads in medical billing fraud scheme

On August 22, an Agua Dulce woman pleaded no contest to grand theft, and a felony charge of filing a false state income tax return for taking more than $800,000 from clients.

Simone Tina McWatters-Crowe, 46, was the CEO of a medical billing firm in Encino. According to court documents, she was in the scam along with her mother, Mitzi Andes, who pleaded guilty in January 2006. McWatters is accused of failing to remit more than $800,000 to clients, and of writing the checks to herself.

McWatters, who is out on bail, is scheduled to be back in court on October 23 for a restitution hearing.

This was a joint case with the LA County District Attorney Office and the FTB.