Description: Anchorage, AK - Former Bookkeeper Sentenced to 3 Years in Federal Prison for Embezzling Over $750,000 and for Submitting False Tax Returns
An Anchorage woman was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to serve three years in federal prison for embezzling more than $750,000 from her employer, and for submitting false tax returns to the IRS.
Raenette K. Yangson, 42, of Anchorage, was employed between 2006 and 2012 as a bookkeeper for Western Construction and Equipment, an Anchorage business. Soon after joining the company, Yangson began creating multiple false checks drawn on the business’ bank account which were made payable to herself or to her husband. Yangson then forged the signatures of owners of the business on the checks and made false entries into the business’ computer accounting program to make the checks appear to be legitimate payments to vendors. Yangson continued the scheme for more than six years. Yangson also submitted false income tax returns to the IRS for several years by failing to report the embezzled income.
In addition to the three-year prison sentence, Judge Gleason ordered Yangson to pay $206,987 in restitution to the IRS for taxes owed on the stolen money. The exact amount of the restitution Yangson owes to Western Construction and Equipment will be determined at a later hearing.
Judge Gleason commented that Yangson had seriously abused the trust which Western Construction and Equipment had placed in her and described her actions as a calculated effort to steal money from the victims. Judge Gleason also noted that Yangson’s embezzlement from a relatively small business had seriously affected the company’s financial well-being during the period of time that she was stealing money.
“IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating individuals who use their employers as personal piggy banks," said Darrell Waldon, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Office. “Ms. Yangson spent years enriching herself and her husband by stealing from her employer and from honest Americans who pay their tax obligations. The IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously pursue criminals like Ms. Yangson and hold them accountable for their actions.”
IRS Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and APD conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 36 months in prison.