Missouri woman convicted of $1.3 million theft and tax scheme – InsuranceNewsNet
Carrie Leigh Long, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to three years and five months in federal prison without the possibility of parole. The court also ordered Long to pay $1,329,440 in restitution, with $362,175 to his employer and $1,071,802 to the IRS. The court also ordered Long to forfeit $362,175 from the government.
On April 25, 2022, Long pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of non-payment of employment taxes.
Long was employed by Executive Coach Builders, Inc. to provide in-house accounting services to the company and Executive Bus Builders, Inc. The companies are headquartered in Springfield but do business worldwide with factories and sales offices in Missouri and California. Companies build luxury buses, coaches and limousines. Long was hired in April 2014.
Long admitted that she stole at least $362,175 from the companies from February 2016 to September 2020. Long also admitted that she failed to pay approximately $902,226 in employment taxes that the companies owed the company. ‘IRS. By not making these payments, Long created a reserve of funds in the companies’ bank accounts from which she continued her embezzlement scheme.
Long used her position as an in-house accountant for the companies, and her access to the companies’ check stock, to regularly write checks to the companies’ bank accounts for unauthorized payments to herself. Long stole money from businesses by padding unauthorized amounts on certain pre-signed checks and making those checks payable to herself. Long also stole money from businesses by forging signatures on business checks, writing unauthorized amounts on checks, and making those checks payable to herself.
According to court documents, Long robbed the businesses at least 198 times. When the businesses owner confronted her with evidence that she robbed the businesses and failed to pay the businesses employment taxes, she continued to lie to him, forcing him to hire a accounting firm to investigate.
As part of the scheme, Long did not claim the unauthorized payments as personal income on his 2016 to 2020 personal income tax returns. This resulted in a loss to the IRS of $65,039.
Beginning in April 2019, Long stopped making regular payments to the IRS for employment taxes companies owed the IRS. Long concealed his actions from company officials by altering the companies’ bank account statements and misrepresenting in his financial reports that the payments had been made. Long, businesses failed to pay the IRS approximately $902,226 in taxes (including the employer’s share and funds withheld from businesses’ employee paychecks) owed to the IRS for both quarters of 2019 and one quarter of 2020.
When an Internal Revenue Service agent attempted to collect these overdue tax payments, Long falsely claimed they had been paid and provided false bank account statements.
According to court documents, Long was convicted in state court for similar conduct with a former employer and was still on probation for this crime at the time of this federal offense. On October 21, 2013, she pleaded guilty in Laclede County, Missouri, Circuit Court to stealing more than $88,000 from a client of her employer, then an accounting firm. As in this federal case, she stole by forging checks made out to her name and endorsed in her name to the victim’s bank account. Long received a five-year suspended sentence, was ordered to serve 90 days of shock time, placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay compensation to her victim within 30 days of her conviction.
Long’s mother actually paid her court-ordered restitution on her behalf in the state’s case. Long used the money she stole from the companies in this scheme to repay her mother for the restitution payment to previous victims.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Kempf. He was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.
Updated September 13, 2022