Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves

Woman embezzle funds meant for homeless shelter!


“Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.” James Baldwin

     Today’s CrimeDivas, Theo Lani Bell, 62, of Kamuela, Hawaii, was sentenced to four years in state prison on two counts of state income tax fraud and one count of grand theft with a (white-collar crime enhancement-this is something new for us. We will explore that subject in another posting).

For those of you that are following these posts, this is an example of how the state convict for multiple crimes. These additional charges (taxes) came about from her not reporting the embezzled money on her income tax returns. But there’s something else for her to be concerned about here, if she did not file the state tax returns chances are she did not file the federal returns. If the feds wanted to get in the game they have the right to file charges also.  I have heard of cases in which they did.

Ms. Bell, plead no contest (this is stating that you are not claiming you did or did not commit a crime), after admitting she stole more than $405,000 from her employer in California. She systematically stole the money from a Santa Clara County-based non-profit that provides low-income housing for the developmentally disabled, people with AIDS, and the elderly.

Ms. Bell falsified documents and lied from 2004 – 2009, convincing her former employer to pay for repairs to a Oakland property (that were not made), which houses a homeless shelter. As with most crime cases a person leaves the place they are committing a crime and the crime is uncover. When a new manager took over management that’s exactly what occurred. (There’s no statute of limitation on criminal crimes.  We will discuss this soon.)

What really got her in trouble, Ms. Bell, filed false state personal income tax returns for 2006 through 2008, and failed to report the more than $328,000 in embezzled income. All income is taxable including income from illegal sources. (There was a case not long ago in Detroit where a white-collar crime defendant knew that fact and had filed the illegally begotten money, so the government could not charge her with the tax crime.)

Bell was arrested at her family’s ranch on the island of Hawaii and was brought back to Santa Clara County to face charges. She was ordered to pay restitution of more than $71,000 to the state for unpaid tax, penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation.


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