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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 9, 2015

Former Bookkeeper for Veterans Services Organization Charged with Fraud, Tax Offenses

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a 10-count indictment today charging CYNTHIA TANNER, 53, of Darien, with fraud and tax evasion offenses stemming from her alleged embezzlement of approximately $800,000 from a Connecticut-based veterans services organization.

As alleged in the indictment, TANNER was employed as a bookkeeper for the National Veterans Service Fund (“NVSF”) located in Darien.  The stated mission of the NVSF was to provide “case managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam and Persian Gulf War veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children.”  From approximately January 2009 through June 2014, TANNER used approximately $800,000 in NVSF funds to pay various personal expenses for her and her family members.  She also altered records to conceal her scheme and by falsely claiming that the stolen monies were being paid to veterans in need.

The indictment further alleges that TANNER failed to report $794,768.47 in embezzled income on her 2009 through 2013 federal tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $270,026.

The indictment charges TANNER with five counts of wire fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, and five counts of tax evasion, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count.

TANNER has been detained on related state charges since her arrest on June 2, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and s defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is assigned to Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport.

This investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and Darien Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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Updated April 9, 2015