LOS ANGELES- On February 21, 2015, a 70-year-old Long Beach woman was sentenced to three years of formal probation and ordered to pay $598,000 in restitution to the California State Franchise Tax Board for concealing her ex-husband’s income to help him avoid paying state taxes.
Linda Ann Knowlton pleaded no contest to one felony count of tax evasion in September 2016. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Knowlton was once married to Tommy Knowlton, who made millions of dollars in the oil business. He stopped filing income tax returns in 1996 and between 2008 and 2011 funneled more than $70 million dollars to his ex-wife’s personal checking account.
During this time, Linda Knowlton had no other source of income other than from her ex-husband. They continued living together at a home she bought despite her lack of personal income.
As the only signer to her checking account, the defendant would often write checks to Tommy Knowlton and his creditors to be paid by the money he deposited into her account in an effort to launder his income and conceal it from tax authorities.
Tommy Knowlton passed away in 2015.
“This case was investigated by the California Franchise Tax Board,” said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). “FTB investigators conduct very important work that leads to the arrest of tax evaders and through restitution makes California whole again. Evading state taxes cheats every Californian.”