DARIEN, Conn. -- A 54-year-old woman who formerly lived in Darien was sentenced Friday to 24 months in prison for embezzling $800,000 from a Darien-based veterans services organization and for failing to pay taxes on that income.
Cynthia Tanner was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven. Her prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Tanner was employed as a bookkeeper for the National Veterans Service Fund in Darien.
The stated mission of the NVSF is to provide case managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam and Persian Gulf War veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children.
From January 2009 to June 2014, Tanner used nearly $800,000 in NVSF funds to pay various personal expenses for herself and family members. She also altered records to conceal her scheme and by falsely claiming that the stolen monies were being paid to veterans in need.
In addition, Tanner failed to report $794,768.47 in embezzled income on her 2009 to 2013 federal tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $270,026.
Tanner was ordered to pay full restitution to the NVSF, and back taxes, interest and penalties in an amount that exceeds $500,000.
Tanner was arrested on state charges of first-degree larceny on June 2, 2014. On April 9, 2014, she was indicted on five federal counts of wire fraud and five federal counts of tax evasion. Tanner could have faced up to 100 years in federal prison on those charges.
On Dec. 15, 2015, she pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. Tanner, who is free on bond, was ordered to report to prison on Aug. 30.
This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and Darien Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.
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