HARVEY BOOKKEEPER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLEMENT AND FAILING TO PAY OVER $174,000 IN TAXES
HEATHER CHAISSON, a resident of Harvey, Louisiana was charged yesterday in a one-count Bill of Information with violating federal law when she failed to collect and pay over taxes she was obligated to collect on behalf of her employer and instead stole the money, announced United States Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the Bill of Information, between May 2007 and June 2008, CHAISSON worked as the bookkeeper for a New Orleans-based software design company. As the bookkeeper, she had the authority and responsibility to oversee her employer’s accounting and payroll, including collecting and paying federal taxes. Instead of fulfilling these duties, CHAISSON used her position to add money to her own paycheck, issued herself an extra payroll check, and caused checks to be written to her. CHAISSON then covered up these payments by making it look like these amounts were either being paid to other creditors or being used as tax withholdings for the company. As a result of her conduct, CHAISSON’S employer failed to make over $174,000 of required tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service.
If convicted, CHAISSON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, followed by up to one (1) year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Letten reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org