Fake Tax Returns Earns Charlene Saucier a Stint in Federal Prison – White Collar Crime Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments

Now there are many things that one could do to earn time in federal prison, but the choice that Charlene Saucier made was just – dumb!

According to the US Attorney’s office, Saucier, age 37, of Sacramento, California was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for her role in a scheme to submit fraudulent tax returns to the IRS. Oh, and by the way, she was also ordered to pay $2,273 in restitution for a refund that was issued based on a fraudulent return.

Yes – $2,273 – and for that she is going to prison for 8 months and will be marked as a convicted felon for the rest of her life.

TAVORIS TIMANE SAUCIER, 28, of North Highlands, California, was previously sentenced by Judge Jensen on November 13, 2007, to five months in prison and three years of supervised release in connection with the same scheme.

Husband gets five years and wife gets one and one-half. Not a good way to have a marriage!

CHARLENE SAUCIER admitted in her guilty plea that, in 2004 and 2005, the SAUCIERs recruited individuals willing to submit fraudulent tax returns to the IRS, and that she prepared tax returns for at least two such individuals using false income and dependent information so that they appeared to qualify for refunds under the Earned Income Credit (EIC) provisions of the tax code. She and her former husband had agreed to split with those individuals any refunds issued by the IRS as a result of the false claims. No refunds were issued by the IRS on those returns. She also filed false tax returns in her own name for the years 2003 and 2004, using false income information to claim EIC refunds, and received one refund for $2,273.

Now one might ask – isn’t that sentence a bit harsh for such a minor infraction? Perhap, but here’s the rest of the story. In 2000, CHARLENE SAUCIER pleaded guilty in Sacramento federal court to a nearly identical phony tax return scheme, in which she admitted preparing false tax returns seeking EIC refunds. She served a one-year sentence in that case.

Every choice has a consequence! As a business ethics and white collar crime speaker, I state those words often. Some of us learn and others have a harder time getting the concept, you do reap what you sow. Perhaps Charlene and her husband, Tavoris, will get it this time. For their sake – I hope so.

Business ethics speaker, Chuck Gallagher, signing off…

Your comments welcome!

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