IRS Disputes Money "Won" at Red Hawk Casino - Takes Half
Half of $4,400 in cash seized by Internal Revenue Service agents at a Yuba City woman's home will be returned to her, according to a federal court agreement that includes the government's assertions that documents from casinos contradict her claims that she won the funds gambling.
Barbara Antonucci claimed she won the money gambling at Red Hawk Casino in El Dorado County a few nights before the June 27 search at her home, the US Attorney's Office says in the court filing. But casino documents show that while she had a jackpot payout of $4,013 on June 25, her net winnings were only $116, the government stated in the court record.
A March search by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department at Antonucci's previous residence in Orangevale produced three Visa cards from her purse — with the credit cards in the names of others, the federal agency asserts in the document. Officers said they found text messages on Antonucci's phone from people requesting credit cards.
A computer hard drive contained more than 1,000 Turbo Tax documents for numerous people and interviews by IRS agents of several people revealed that paid Antonucci to prepare — but not file — their tax returns, the government added.
Antonucci claimed $90,000 in gambling winnings was her only income in 2010 and that she had since won $40,000 to $50,000, according to the government.
Documents from casinos establish that she lost $104,615 in 2011 and $26,373 last year, according to the government in the court filing.
The consent judgment states that Antonucci agrees that adequate facts exist to support forfeiture of half of the money — "without admitting the truth of the factual assertions" contained in the court document.
She asserted ownership of the money in a claim the IRS received in August. The $2,200 will be returned to her through her attorney.
IRS special agent Jason Lamb referred questions to the US Attorney's Office in Sacramento.
Lauren Horwood, spokeswoman for the federal office, said the case's resolution reflects the decision by the US Attorney's Office.
"In order to avoid taking a small matter like this to trial, the government chose to settle," she said.
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