Former Border Station Employee Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
NORFOLK, Va. – Amy L. Planch, 50, of Moyock, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to evasion of income tax assessment.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, beginning in 1998, Planch worked full time at The Border Station, Inc., a popular retail store, gas station and restaurant located on the border of Currituck County, North Carolina and Chesapeake, Virginia. In her capacity as the bookkeeper and Chief Financial Officer of the company, Planch was responsible for payroll, paying bills, making deposits, transferring funds, and other tasks.
In March 2010, Planch opened a holiday-themed gift shop in Moyock, North Carolina, called the Carolina Christmas Shoppe, Inc. Although she spent the majority of her time at her new business, she retained her responsibilities as the Border Station’s bookkeeper. Beginning in early 2010, Planch began wiring thousands of dollars from the Border Station’s accounts to the Carolina Christmas Shoppe account and her personal accounts, at times then wiring a significantly smaller amount back into the Border Station’s accounts. Over the course of nearly three years, Planch transferred a net of approximately $966,000 from the Border Station to her business and personal accounts. These funds were used to pay her personal expenses, including credit card payments, mortgage payments, travel, clothing, and jewelry. Planch did not report the finances taken without authorization from the Border Station on her individual income tax returns. In December 2012, the owner of the Border Station became aware of Planch’s transfers and fired her. In March 2013, Planch traveled to the FBI offices in Chesapeake, Virginia and, during an interview with IRS and FBI agents, attempted to implicate the Border Station’s owner in a variety illegal activities, to include gambling, drugs, bank fraud, and others.
Planch was charged by criminal information on May 17, and will be sentenced on October 14 by Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Planch faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller. Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16-cr-76.