COLUMBUS - Anna M. Carter, 50, of Bellaire, pleaded guilty to willfully filing a false federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Kathy A. Enstrom, acting special agent in charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, announced the plea entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Terence P. Kemp.
According to court documents, between 2006 and 2008, Carter was employed by A&B KIA, an automobile dealership, as an accounting manager. Carter was solely responsible for the dealership's financial record-keeping and for preparing bank deposits, which included cash and checks collected from both the sales department and the service department of A&B KIA.
In the course of a routine, unannounced, bank review of A&B KIA's floor plan, it was discovered that 36 vehicles were out of trust and approximately $300,000 of payments to the floor plan were delinquent, according to the IRS. Thereafter, an internal audit revealed that another $500,000 in cash had neither been entered in the books nor deposited in A&B KIA's bank account.
It was discovered that for three years, Carter had exploited the fact that the A&B KIA's computer system used by salespersons did not interface with the accounting system she used as the accounting manager, government officials reported. This allowed Carter to alter transactions when entering sales into the general ledger. Cash entries were changed by Carter to accounts such as warranty sales, cost of sales and other asset accounts in order to hide cash that she embezzled, according to the IRS. Among the various ways that Carter concealed her embezzlement activity, she made false journal entries and wrote unauthorized checks.
Carter spent much of the embezzled monies on gambling at Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack where she was a VIP gambler, according to the IRS. Between 2006 and 2008, Carter incurred gambling losses totaling $774,755.24. During those same three years, she earned $129,391.98 from A&B KIA, which was her sole legitimate source of funds. Wheeling Island Casino records show Carter ceased all gambling activity shortly after she was terminated by A&B KIA.
Carter willfully filed a false 2007 federal income tax return with the IRS which showed total income claimed in the amount of $83,009, whereas the total amount of income she should have claimed was actually $284,240.
By failing to include the embezzled funds from A&B KIA on her 2006 through 2008 federal income tax returns, Carter avoided paying approximately $140,000 in income taxes to the IRS, according to the investigation.
Carter faces a maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Enstrom said that Anna Carter's crimes were not victimless. "Every time someone in America cheats on their taxes, there are more than 300 million victims."
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Brown and was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation.