Saturday, December 5, 2009

Could THIS be why the company I worked for laid me off?

Hmmm...... it explains a lot

SACRAMENTO, CA - A prominent Sacramento accountant and former IRS agent is under federal investigation for embezzling tax payments from his clients.

William R. Murray, 55, has been questioned by U.S. Treasury agents in connection with the disappearance of tax payments that had been deposited into his trust account, News10 has learned.

One victim was told by a federal investigator the losses totalled "a couple of million dollars." News10 has been unable to independently confirm the dollar amount and number of victims.

A victim who asked that her name not be used was near tears as she spoke to News10 in her kitchen. She showed a series of checks totalling more than $52,000 that she and her husband sent to Murray for 2008 and 2009 taxes that never made it to the IRS.

The couple did not receive delinquency notices from the IRS, she said. They only became aware that their taxes were unpaid when a Treasury agent knocked on the front door before Thanksgiving.

The woman said they are unable to make up the missing tax payments, which now include interest and penalties. "I'm in a lot of trouble," she acknowledged.

Murray was at one time a frequent guest on News10 Midday, offering tax tips to viewers. He is a partner in the Murray & Young accounting firm and is on the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A well-known financial planner who asked not to be identified told News10 he used to steer business to Murray, but more recently had been been advising clients to use a different accountant. "Something didn't smell right," the financial planner said.

Murray also owns a limousine company called Luxury Limousines of Sacramento. A driver at the company's garage told News10 there had been rumors that Murray was preparing to shut down the operation.

News10 tried contacting Murray at his accounting firm and saw him leave through a back door.

Murray's attorney Don Heller confirmed the investigation and said his client had been cooperating with federal agents.

"It's a great tragedy for everyone concerned," Heller said. "I really feel for the victims."

Heller said criminal charges would likely result in a restitution order, but that it was unclear how long it might take for Murray to pay back his victims.

Article source: News 10