Former bookkeeper sentenced for embezzling thousands from veterans services

Cynthia Tanner arrest photo.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) –Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Cynthia Tanner, 54-year-old formerly of Darien, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling approximately $800,000 from a Connecticut-based veterans services organization, and for failing to pay taxes on that income.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Tanner was employed as a bookkeeper for the National Veterans Service Fund (“NVSF”) located in Darien.  The stated mission of the NVSF was to provide case managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam and Persian Gulf War veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children.  From approximately Jan. 2009 through June 2014, Tanner used nearly $800,000 in NVSF funds to pay various personal expenses for her and her family members.  She also altered records to conceal her scheme and by falsely claiming that the stolen monies were being paid to veterans in need.

In addition, Tanner failed to report $794,768.47 in embezzled income on her 2009 through 2013 federal tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $270,026.

Tanner was ordered to pay full restitution to the NVSF, and back taxes, interest and penalties in an amount that exceeds $500,000.

Tanner was arrested on related state charges on June 2, 2014.  On Dec. 15, 2015, she pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.

Tanner, who is released on bond, was ordered to report to prison on August 30, 2016. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and Darien Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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