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Criminal Corner

We are committed to closing California's $6.5 billion tax gap, defined as the difference between tax that is owed and tax that is paid. Our special agents work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies throughout California to uncover illegal behaviors that contribute to the tax gap. These include underreporting income, overstating deductions, failing to file returns, failing to pay taxes due, and making illegal cash payments to employees.

Tax fraud is not a victimless crime. You can report suspected tax fraud by calling FTB at (800) 540-3453.

Santa Monica doctor arrested on state income tax evasion

Barnett J.W. Grier, Jr. Photo Barnett J.W. Grier, Jr., 63, a self-employed physician who appears to be residing between Santa Monica, and Plumas County in Northern California, was arrested without incident by FTB special investigators. According to investigators, Grier allegedly failed to file state income tax returns for 2002 - 2004, failing to claim the more than $5.2 million he earned during these years. He was employed by a Plumas County medical clinic at the time of his arrest.

Each felony count carries a maximum term of three years in state prison.

This marks the sixth arrest by FTB, who has been working with the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Fraud Interdiction Program. The program was launched in 2004 to more effectively investigate and prosecute health care fraud cases, which cost health insurers and government-funded health plans more than $100 billion nationally each year. The program targets attorneys, medical doctors, chiropractors, dentists, and clinic owners who have allegedly engaged in health care fraud.

Since the program’s inception, the most blatant abusers of health care insurance fraud have been convicted and sentenced to prison. FTB is working on more than 40 other cases concerning health care providers involved in tax evasion from health care insurance fraud. The most common health care fraud schemes include billing for services not rendered or medically unnecessary, double–billing for services, and engaging in kickbacks.

This is a joint investigation between the Los Angeles District Attorney, the California Department of Justice, and the Franchise Tax Board.