Alabama AG: 2 former state employees convicted of tax evasion, - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama AG: 2 former state employees convicted of tax evasion, department of corrections assistant arrested

Posted: Updated:
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday the convictions of two former state employees on tax evasion charges. (abc3340.com). Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday the convictions of two former state employees on tax evasion charges. (abc3340.com).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday the conviction of two former state employees on tax evasion charges and the arrest another state employee in connection with an ongoing investigation.

Michelle Irvin Zeigler, 50, of Prattville, and Judy Smith Horn, 48, of Montgomery, entered guilty pleas in circuit court earlier this week, and a Judge Truman Hobbs accepted their pleas, convicted them on tax evasion charges stemming from 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Ziegler, a former personnel manager with the Department of Public Health, received a suspended two-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to one count of willful attempt to evade or defeat 2007 state income taxes and one count of using her position as a public employee to obtain personal gain. Ziegler avoided prison time, but she was placed on supervised probation for two years and ordered to pay $13,499.23 in restitution to the Department of Revenue.

Horn, a former employee with the Alabama Department of Finance, was also given a two-year suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to one count of willful attempt to evade or defeat 2008 state income taxes. Like Ziegler, she was placed on supervised probation for two years and ordered to pay $6,065.13 in court costs and restitution.

“I am proud of the continuing accomplishments of the Special Prosecutions Alliance and the partnership between our Special Prosecutions Division and the Department of Revenue,” Strange said. “Working in a cooperative effort such as this makes our prosecutions stronger and more effective. Together, we are sending a strong message that misrepresenting one’s status or income to avoid paying taxes is a serious crime, and we stand steadfast to vigorously investigate and prosecute these cases.”

Strange announced the arrest of 54-year-old Shirley Jean Walters of Montgomery on four counts of state income tax evasion from 2008 through 2011 and one count of using her position as a public employee to obtain person gain. Walters, who worked as a personnel assistant with the Department of Corrections, allegedly used the Government Human Resources System to alter her income tax withholding status to "exempt" or "zero withholding" for her state wages. She has since been released from jail on a $5,000 bond.

If convicted, Walters faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or fines not exceeding $100,000 for each count of tax evasion. She faces two to 20 years in prison and/or fines of up to $30,000 for the ethics violation charge.

Strange said more charges are expected to be filed in connection with an ongoing investigation into public corruption.

The Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Division assisted the Department of Revenue in the prosecution of these cases.


  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Shoppers take advantage of 'tax-free' holiday August 1-3

    Shoppers take advantage of 'tax-free' holiday August 1-3

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-08-01 22:20:02 GMT
    Moms and dads across most of the Birmingham area have an opportunity to check off their child's 'back-to-school' list and save money at the same time. The tax-free holiday is this weekend.More >>
    Moms and dads across most of the Birmingham area have an opportunity to check off their child's 'back-to-school' list and save money at the same time. The tax-free holiday is this weekend.More >>
  • Birmingham man charged, accused of setting house on fire while 2 people were inside

    Birmingham man charged, accused of setting house on fire while 2 people were inside

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:29:32 GMT
    A Birmingham man on probation for manslaughter has been accused of setting fire to a home while two people were inside.More >>
    A Birmingham man on probation for manslaughter has been accused of setting fire to a home while two people were inside.
    More >>
  • Dr. Craig Pouncey looks to the future of JeffCo schools

    Dr. Craig Pouncey looks to the future of JeffCo schools

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 20:43:25 GMT
    With a new superintendent at the helm, the Jefferson County school district is in launch mode for the future. Dr. Craig Pouncey is determined to make the district the best in the state. To do so, he plans to engage local communities as well as the system's personnel on a much stronger level than they've seen. Pouncey understands communication can go a long way in solving problems. One of those problems Pouncey wants to nip in the bud is more municipalities in the county considering breaking ...More >>
    With a new superintendent at the helm, the Jefferson County school district is in launch mode for the future. Dr. Craig Pouncey is determined to make the district the best in the state. To do so, he plans to engage local communities as well as the system's personnel on a much stronger level than they've seen. Pouncey understands communication can go a long way in solving problems. One of those problems Pouncey wants to nip in the bud is more municipalities in the county considering breaking ...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...