Failure to report embezzlement / theft income tax lands Fire District Treasurer in hot water

Virginia DeCapria, 53 of Charlton New York, who is awaiting trial on felony charges for allegedly stealing nearly $500,000 from the Charlton Fire District No. 1, has been indicted on new charges for tax evasion and fraud in connection with failing to pay tax on the money she is accused of stealing. DeCapria was arrested in September 2011 after an audit revealed that hundreds of thousands of dollars was missing. According to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, “The district’s fire commissioners exercised virtually no oversight of its finances and exhibited a blind faith in Virginia DeCapria.” As a result, DeCapria now faces five counts of criminal tax fraud and four counts of offering a false instrument for filing.

It was revealed that DeCapria used the money to buy Ipods and laptops as well as plastic surgery, cigarettes, and Schwan’s frozen food delivery for herself and her family. This was on top of previous indictments that claimed she was paying herself for hours that she did not work and wrote more than 500 fraudulent checks to herself and husband, the fire district’s chief. Prosecutors learned that the thefts grew from 2006 to 2009 when she served as the district’s treasurer. As of 2010 she reportedly was making a full half of the districts property tax levy.

DeCapria originally faced 15 years in prison, however, with the tax charges added in her sentence exposure increases to 36 years to be served consecutively. Prosecutors will seek an increase in the $75,000 bail amount because the risk of flight is higher considering the possibility of this increased sentence. This case is a clear example of the unintended consequences of criminal behavior. A taxpayer is likely aware of the wrongfulness of misappropriating funds but not as conscious of the criminal tax evasion charges that may follow and compound the matter. The cold hard fact of the matter is that of the 5,000 or so tax crimes charged annually, 3,000 or so are add on tax crimes for not reporting the income from criminal activities.