September 17, 2019

Accountants Behaving Badly: FUBARed Over FBARs, Fake Returns, Landscaping Larceny

You are probably having a better Labor Day than these six accountants.

Former CPA indicted for failing to report foreign bank accounts and filing false documents with the IRS [Justice Department]
Ex-CPA Brian Booker was charged by a federal grand jury on Aug. 27 with failing to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) and filing false documents with the IRS.

Booker owned a cocoa trading company that was organized under the laws of Panama and was operated from Venezuela, Panama, and his former residence in Fort Lauderdale, FLA. For calendar years 2011 through 2013, Booker allegedly failed to disclose his interest in financial accounts located in Switzerland, Singapore, and Panama on annual FBARs as required by law. Booker also allegedly filed false individual income tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2012 that failed to report to the IRS all of Booker’s foreign bank accounts.

Booker is also charged with filing a false “streamlined submission” in conjunction with the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures.

If convicted, Booker faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count relating to his failure to file an FBAR. He also faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each of the counts related to filing false tax documents.

Las Vegas businessman indicted with 28 counts for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns [Justice Department]
A federal grand jury returned a 28-count indictment on Aug. 27 against Lance Bradford, CPA, a majority owner of tax and audit firm, L.L. Bradford CPAs in Las Vegas, for aiding in the preparation of false tax returns.

Lance Bradford

Bradford, 52, is accused of preparing false and fraudulent individual income tax returns for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014. Those fake returns are alleged to have claimed false deductions for millions of dollars in cost of goods sold, consulting fees, and omitted gross receipts. The returns were filed on behalf of seven individual taxpayers and their associated corporate and partnership entities.

Bradford is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 3. The maximum penalty is three years in prison and a $100,000 fine per count.

Bookkeeper charged with embezzling $47K from Stamford company [Connecticut Post]
Carol Werner turned herself over to police on Aug. 22 and was charged with first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery for allegedly stealing almost $50,000 from a Stamford landscaping business over a 16-month period.

The arrest stemmed from a complaint filed by a Stamford landscaping company in December 2018, when the owner reported that Werner, who was the company’s payroll manager and accountant, may have taken as much as $70,000 from the company before she was fired.

Werner, 62, admitted to depositing a total of 27 phony payroll checks into her account totaling $47,725 between July 2017 and November 2018.

Man allegedly steals over $400,000 from employer [St. George News]
Richard McDonald, a former accountant for a pool supply business in St. George, UT, was charged on Aug. 21 with six second-degree felony charges, including one count of unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary and five counts of theft, as well as one third-degree felony count of unlawful acquisition of a finance card without consent.

On Sept. 20, 2018, the owner of the business reported to police that McDonald, who was the company’s accountant for more than four years and was responsible for making all payroll and business expense payments, had embezzled more than $400,000.

An investigation discovered that McDonald allegedly paid himself more than what was authorized by the company and had transferred funds from the business accounts to personal bank accounts on a number of occasions.

Willingboro Township employee loses job over disputed diploma [Cherry Hill Courier-Post]
Monica Paylor, who was an accountant for Willingboro Township in New Jersey, lost her job after being accused of misrepresenting her educational accomplishments.

Monica Paylor

According to a recent court ruling, Paylor falsely claimed to be a college graduate and presented a diploma and transcripts that were “not authentic.”

She had been a municipal employee since 2007 and the town’s accountant since 2016.

A bachelor’s degree was among the required qualifications for Paylor’s position as municipal accountant. The job paid almost $65,000 a year at the time of her dismissal.

College of New Rochelle controller sentenced to three years, ordered to pay restitution [Rockland/Westchester Journal News]
Keith Borge, the former controller at the College of New Rochelle, was sentenced to three years in federal prison on Aug. 28 for doctoring the school’s financial records and hiding its debts, which eventually led to the college shutting its doors.

He was ordered to pay $25,000 in fines and will also have to pay restitution on charges of securities fraud and failure to pay payroll taxes.

Borge, 63, pleaded guilty in March to the charges, shortly after the college announced it would close this summer, done in by the debts after years of enrollment declines and financial instability.

His sentence will start on Oct. 11 and includes three years supervised release. The amount of restitution is currently at $13.2 million, but it’ll likely be significantly lowered or totally cleared after the college sells its assets.

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