SAN JOSE – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that a federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Thomas Everett Seidel and his wife, Vicki Renee Seidel, of Salinas for a variety of tax violations including failure to pay approximately $600,000 in employment taxes, over a 10 year period, and making false tax returns. A third person, Randy Lee Wilson, was charged with conspiring with Mr. and Mrs. Seidel to evade paying the employment taxes by hiding Thomas Seidel’s involvement in an Idaho wheat farm. The indictment was returned under seal on August 2, 2006, and was unsealed this afternoon in court. These charges are the result of an investigation by Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation.
According to the indictment, Mr. And Mrs Seidel are alleged to have owned and operated Seidel Electric in Salinas, California. Between 1993 and 1996, they failed to pay $601,251.24 in employment taxes. These taxes are paid in part by employers and in part by employees. They pay for several programs including Social Security and Medicare. The employees’ shares is collected by the employer and is supposed to be forwarded to the IRS. According to the indictment, the Seidel’s failed to pay the taxes even though they had collected the employees’ share from the employees.
Following the IRS’s determination of the tax liability in 1996, the Seidel’s disbanded Seidel Electric, had the business declare bankruptcy, and declared personal bankruptcy. They then formed Bayview Electric. They claimed the company was being run by Thomas Seidel’s adult son when, in fact, the son was a full time college student in San Luis Obispo, and was uninvolved in the business. Thomas Seidel also provided the IRS with a statement falsely claiming that he was not involved in the finances or the operations of Bayview Electric.
On August 3, 2000, Thomas Seidel submitted a settlement offer to the IRS. He offered to settle his $600,000 tax liability for $10,000. He told the IRS that he had “insufficient assets and income to pay the full amount.” With the offer, he submitted a list of the assets he owned. According to the indictment he failed to list several assets, including interests in the Idaho wheat farm, a 30 acre parcel located on Laureles Grade in Monterey County, and an interest in a third electrical company, All Advantage Electric.
All three defendants surrendered to the U.S. Marshal’s Service at the Federal Courthouse in San Jose on Thursday, November 9. They made their initial appearance in front of United States Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg. Mr. and Mrs. Seidel were released on $100,000 bail and Mr. Wilson was released on $75,000 bail. The defendants’ next scheduled appearance is scheduled before Judge Jeremy Fogel on November 29, 2006, at 9:00 a.m. for trial setting.
The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to evade payment of taxes in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 371 and Title 26, United States Code, section 7201, is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for filing false tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, 7206, is three years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and one year of supervised release. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr.and Ms. Seidel and Mr. Wilson must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Gary G. Fry is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal technician Tracey Andersen. The prosecution is the result of a five year investigation by the IRS.
Case #: CR 06–00539 JF
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]