The Orange County DA’s office issued a press release yesterday reporting that Richard Engel, a 70 year old Newport Beach man, was sentenced to seven years for failing to report over $180 million of income. In 2011 Engel pleaded cuilty to 3 felony counts of filing false personal tax returns and another 5 counts for failing to file returns for himself and his company.
The DA’s office asserted that Jolene and Richard Engel received millions of dollars for contracts between 1998 and 2001, when their company, PMSI had a total gross revenue of $180 million. Millions of this amount is alleged to have been used for their personal expenses and luxuries. Richard Engel filed two returns in 1998 and 1999 stating he had no income and a return in 2000 stating he made less than $200,000.
This case was investigated by the DA’s office starting in 2001, after a tip off from a labor union. It goes to show the many ways in which the government can prosecute these crimes in addition to the U.S. agencies – local agencies and whistleblowers often play a large role.