SEATTLE, WA– May 20, 2013 – The owner of a King County landscaping business was charged today with theft of at least $112,572 in sales tax she collected from customers from 2006 through 2011.
The Washington State Attorney General’s office filed the felony theft charges against Laura Y. Villegas, owner of Excell Landscapes and Excell Landscape, Inc. in King County Superior Court on behalf of the Washington State Department of Revenue.
According to the charging documents, Villegas, 51, also known as Laura Kalos and Laura Y. Villegas-Chouinard, first operated Excell Landscapes as a sole proprietorship until she closed it and reopened the business as Excell Landscape, Inc., a corporation. The sole proprietorship filed no tax returns and the corporation reported only about half of its total income.
An audit determined at least $112,572 in retail sales tax was collected and unremitted to the Washington State Department of Revenue. Further inquiry found that Villegas operated Kalos Landscaping from 2001 until 2006 when its business license was revoked by the Department for nonpayment of taxes.
If convicted of the Class B felony charges, Villegas could face a maximum penalty of $20,000 and ten years in prison.
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