Crime

Lenoir woman convicted of embezzling money from tax clients

A Caldwell County woman who ran an income tax service and embezzled more than $800,000 of the money her clients owed the Internal Revenue Service has been sentenced to two years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Denise Swanson of Lenoir also failed to pay the IRS nearly a quarter-million dollars she owed from the money she embezzled, prosecutors said.

Swanson used the money to pay her daughter’s college tuition, to make renovations to her home, and for gambling, according to prosecutors.

Swanson failed to report the embezzled income on her own tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011, prosecutors said.

Swanson was sentenced to prison Monday in federal court for tax evasion. She also was ordered to repay her clients $839,830.99 and repay $249,912 to the IRS. Swanson will serve three years under court supervision after her release from prison, authorities said.

According to court documents and testimony in Monday’s sentencing hearing, Swanson owned and operated Bottom-line Accounting, a tax preparation and bookkeeping business. Court documents showed that from 2006 to 2012, Swanson made personal use of money that her clients owed the IRS and state government.

Swanson pleaded guilty in August 2013 to tax evasion for the tax year 2010, prosecutors said.

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