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Criminal Corner

Father and Son Arrested for Fraud and State Tax Evasion Charges

After an 18-month investigation between the Santa Barbara Police Department, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and us, the owner of Montecito Motors, Inc. of Santa Barbara and his father were arrested on 58 felony criminal charges including state tax evasion, grand theft, embezzlement, and financial elder abuse, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department and us.

Chester Adam Taylor, AKA Adam Taylor, 41, and Chester Lee Taylor, AKA Chet Taylor, 71, are accused of filing false personal income tax returns and failing to file corporate tax returns for 2004-2010, plus numerous other crimes.

According to the arrest warrant, the Taylors stole more than $1 million from 26 separate victims. They concealed car sales and defrauded people who had consigned their cars for sale with Montecito Motors, Inc. Months, and sometimes years, would go by and the car owners would be told by Chet or Adam Taylor that the car had not sold when in reality the car had sold months (or years) earlier. The Taylors illegally obtained duplicate titles, forged signatures, and lied to car owners about selling their cars to conceal the sales and avoid paying the owners the money owed after the sale of their vehicles. They are also charged with theft from a private investor of more than $290,000 for receiving a line of credit that was supposed to be secured by the titles of cars they owned, but was not. Many of the titles were either duplicate titles from cars they already sold, or titles of cars that were on consignment that they did not own.

According to investigators, it is alleged that the Taylors used Montecito Motors, Inc. funds to pay their personal expenses such as home rental fees, mortgage payments, personal credit card payments, and personal cash withdrawals. The Taylors also neglected to report the income on their state income tax returns. All income is taxable including income from illegal sources.

Chet Taylor is charged with filing false personal income tax returns for 2005 through 2010 and failing to report more than $400,000 from Montecito Motors, Inc.

Adam Taylor is charged with filing false tax returns and failing to file personal returns 2004 through 2010, and not reporting more than $500,000 from Montecito Motors. He is also charged with failing to file corporate tax returns from 2005 through 2009 and not reporting more than $24.7 million in gross sales. This information was cited from a Santa Barbara police department news release.

Back to February 2012 Tax News