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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 6, 2013

Former Bookkeeper To Serve 24 Months In Prison And Pay Over $1.8 Million In Restitution For Embezzlement And Tax Evasion

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – CAROLYN DAWSON, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for embezzling from her former employer, American Plant Products, and for evading federal payroll taxes, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In addition, Dawson was ordered to pay $1,843674.42 in restitution.

Until November of 2011, Dawson worked as the bookkeeper for American Plant Products, an Oklahoma City wholesaler of greenhouse and garden supplies. Her duties included maintaining payroll, preparing payroll tax returns, and paying withheld taxes to the IRS. According to a criminal information filed on December 18, 2012, Dawson defrauded the business by using interstate wire communications to pay personal credit card expenses from a business bank account, without the knowledge of the business or its owners. These payments took place from January of 2007 until November 25, 2011, when Dawson was terminated. The information also alleged that Dawson willfully evaded federal payroll taxes by failing to file a 2010 payroll tax return for the company, failing to make payroll withholding payments to the IRS, and altering the books and records of American Plant Products to conceal her failure to make withholding payments.

On January 3, 2013, Dawson pled guilty to both counts.

Today, Chief Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange sentenced Dawson to 24 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. The sentence also requires her to pay $1,194,656.15 in restitution to American Plant Products and $649,018.27 to the Internal Revenue Service. The restitution to the IRS is based not only on her evasion of payroll taxes, but also on her failure to report the embezzled funds on her personal income tax returns.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Williams.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.