A former Huntington Beach resident was found guilty in federal court last week to helping in the preparation of false payroll tax returns as part of a wider government probe of payroll companies based in Anaheim and Fullerton.
After a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, 47-year-old Denise Browning was convicted on two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false payroll tax returns.
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According to an eight-count indictment filed Aug. 26, Browning was tied to Michael P. Harvey, 53, formerly of Anaheim Hills, and Jason M. Harvey, 32, formerly of Yorba Linda, and owner of Advanced Business Payroll, Inc. of Anaheim and Global Business Outsource Solutions, Inc., and Global Consulting, Inc. of Fullerton.
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From around Sept. 18 through at least Dec. 29 of 2006, the Harveys tried to keep more than $15 million that was supposed to be withheld for federal payroll taxes for the employees of their companies. Browning was just convicted of trying to hide this through the preparation of the false payroll tax returns, Forms 941. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) later discovered the Harveys then shuffled money around accounts and companies and cut one another checks.
Michael Harvey pleaded guilty Jan. 6 and Jason Harvey did the same July 31 to the same counts: evading the payment of payroll taxes and interest assessed against them by the IRS. Federal Judge George H. King could sentence them each to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 at their scheduled Jan. 28 sentencing.
Browning faces up to six years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine when she is scheduled to return to Gutierrez's court on Feb. 13.