Lafayette business owner arrested for felony tax evasion

Alan J. Bernard

Alan J. Bernard

BATON ROUGE – A Lafayette man faces multiple felony charges for failing to report and pay taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.

Alan J. Bernard, of 721 W. Gloria Switch Road in Lafayette, is the 54th person arrested under a joint anti-fraud initiative of the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) and the state Attorney General’s office.

Investigators with the LDR Criminal Investigation Division say that as the owner of A-Team Home Improvements, LLC, Bernard filed state tax returns reporting no income from that business in 2012 and 2013. But banking records obtained by subpoena and Bernard’s federal tax returns show the business produced income of $144,036.97 in 2012 and $324,396.75 in 2013. Bernard failed to pay any state corporate, sales, or income tax on those amounts.

Bernard was booked Tuesday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of criminal penalty for evasion of tax, criminal penalty for failing to account for state tax monies and filing or maintaining false public records.

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Baton Rouge woman arrested for felony tax evasion

Tanya Rivers

Tanya Rivers

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge woman is charged with felony tax evasion for failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.

Investigators say from 2010 through 2012, Tanya Tonette Rivers (Booking Photo) failed to file state income tax returns on more than $268,000 in earnings, and failed to pay $12,752 in taxes.

During the investigation, Rivers failed to respond to numerous attempts to contact her about her tax filing discrepancies.

Rivers is the 53rd person arrested under a joint anti-fraud initiative of the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the state Attorney General’s Office. She was booked Tuesday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on state charges of Evasion of Tax and Failure to File.

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Cloutier pleads “No Contest” to tax-related crimes

BATON ROUGE – A Lafayette businessman pleaded “No Contest” to tax evasion and obstruction of justice in an agreement with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

Eric Cloutier entered the plea in 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette.  

Cloutier, a former owner of Karma nightclub and Marley’s Downtown sports bar in Lafayette, surrendered the licenses for those businesses as part of the plea.

After an investigation involving LDR’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, ATC enforcement agents arrested Cloutier in February following allegations that he manipulated the cash registers in his bars to avoid remitting sales taxes to Lafayette Parish and to the State of Louisiana.  He initially faced more than 500 felony counts including theft, fraud, and obstruction of justice.  He pleaded “No Contest” on Thursday, November 12, 2009 to one count of tax evasion and one count of obstruction of justice connected to the destruction of more than 300 tax-related documents.

As a condition of his plea agreement, Cloutier paid a tax liability of more than $200,000 including interest and penalties to Lafayette Parish and the State of Louisiana.  In addition, the court ordered Cloutier to pay the cost of the investigation and prosecution of this case assessed at $10,000.  He was ordered also to pay more than $1,400 in fines and court costs. 

Cloutier will serve two years of active supervised probation.

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