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Criminal Corner

Monterey Couple Pleads in Unlicensed Contractor Case

According to The Californian.com, a Monterey couple pleaded to criminal charges connected to a home improvement business they ran illegally.

On August 3, 2012, the Monterey County District Attorney's Office said, Daniel Kenneth Furness, 60, pleaded to six felony and three misdemeanor charges while his wife, Coleen Ann Gsell, 57, pleaded to nine misdemeanor charges.

They said the couple operated their businesses, Window Design and Fresh Paint, from 2002 to 2011 without any contractor licenses. The District Attorney's Office said the documents the two signed and filed with public offices were false as it was alleged that Furness didn't possess a criminal record and hadn't received citations from the Contractors State License Board. Additionally, they said the home and main office address, as well as a phone number of the couple, were entered as contact information for other people, with their names signed by Furness or Gsell. The District Attorney's Office said liens and lawsuits were recorded and filed falsely stating that labor or material were furnished, and amounts were due and unpaid from homeowners. They said documents also alleged that the corporation operated by the couple was a licensed contractor.

Other violations include using contractor license numbers of others and charging homeowners excessive down payments, the District Attorney's Office said. They said the couple also filed quarterly reports that allowed them to evade disability, unemployment insurances, and taxes. The District Attorney's Office said the couple also conspired to help two workers file false personal income tax returns.

The two are scheduled for sentencing and a potential restitution hearing on September 26, 2012. Furness faces seven years and six months in prison for the first case, and three years and eight months in the other. His wife faces seven years in prison for the first case, and two years in the second.

Back to September 2012 Tax News