Tax News
Criminal Corner

Father and Son Team Sentenced for Fraud and State Tax Evasion

In February, we ran an article regarding the arrest of Chet Taylor, 71, and his son Adam Taylor, 41, a father-and-son team who ran Montecito Motors, a high-end used-car dealership that abruptly closed in 2010 amid suspicions of criminal activity. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, they pleaded no contest to 46 total felony charges of conspiracy, grand theft, and tax evasion, part of a plea deal that will mean lengthy prison terms for both.

They were also charged with forging signatures, filing false tax returns, and misleading creditors. Chet will be sentenced next month to 13 years in state prison. Adam will be sentenced to 11 years. Sarah Taylor Swing, Chet’s daughter, and his wife, Jennifer Taylor, pleaded guilty to one count each of misdemeanor tax evasion and were ordered to pay restitution and fines.

The District Attorney’s Office estimates the Taylors stole $1.2 million from 27 of their customers over a period of six or so years. At a hearing scheduled for June 21, a judge will tally what each victim is owed. Adam, the official owner of Montecito Motors, was ordered by Judge Clifford Anderson to pay the state $2.28 million in unpaid business sales tax and $2.9 million in business income tax which dated as far back as 1998.

However, it is unlikely that the state or Taylors’ customers will be paid anytime soon. During a two-year investigation with us, California Board of Equalization, and the District Attorney, determined no assets were available to seize.

Back to July 2012 Tax News