NORFOLK, Va. – A North Carolina woman pleaded guilty Friday to evasion of income tax assessment.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, starting in 1998, 50-year-old Amy L. Planch worked full time at The Border Station located on the border of Currituck County and Chesapeake as the bookkeeper and Chief Financial Officer. Planch’s responsibilities included payroll, paying bills, making deposits and transferring funds.
In March 2010, Planch opened a holiday-themed gift shop in Moyock called the Carolina Christmas Shoppe.
She spent the majority of her time at her new business but retained her responsibilities as The Border Station’s bookkeeper.
Beginning in early 2010, Planch began wiring thousands of dollars from The Border Station’s accounts to the Carolina Christmas Shoppe account and her personal accounts, at times then wiring a significantly smaller amount back into the Border Station’s accounts.
Over the course of nearly three years, Planch transferred a net of approximately $966,000 from the Border Station to her business and personal accounts.
The funds were used to pay her personal expenses, including credit card payments, mortgage payments, travel, clothing and jewelry.
Planch did not report the finances taken without authorization from the Border Station on her individual income tax returns.
In December 2012, the owner of the Border Station became aware of Planch’s transfers and fired her.
In March 2013, Planch traveled to the FBI offices in Chesapeake and, during an interview with IRS and FBI agents, attempted to implicate the Border Station’s owner in a variety illegal activities, to include gambling, drugs, bank fraud, and others.
Planch was charged by criminal information on May 17 and will be sentenced on October 14. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.