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Libby woman admits tax evasion

Posted at 1:21 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 13:14:40-05

MISSOULA – A Libby woman could face up to five years in prison after admitting to evading income taxes for two years while serving as the financial caretaker for an individual who was unable to care for herself, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Candace Cummings, 65, pleaded guilty to tax evasion during a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch.  Judge Lynch will recommend Cummings’ plea be accepted by U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, who is presiding in the case.

Cummings faces a maximum five years in prison, a $100,000 fine and three years of supervised release. She was released pending sentencing, which was set for May 16.

Prosecutors said the evidence would show that Cummings failed to report income of about $140,188 in 2012, which produced a tax loss of $35,096, and income of about $52,500 in 2013, which produced a tax loss of $13,420.

Cummings agreed to become the financial caretaker for a person who was unable to care for herself in late 2011. Adult Protective Services assigned a power of attorney to Cummings on the individual’s behalf.

APS told Cummings she needed to keep track of receipts for expenses she paid for the individual, and Cummings agreed to serve as a fiduciary without compensation.

Prosecutors say that in 2012 and 2013 Cummings used the individual’s money for personal expenses and failed to report the money as income on her own tax returns.

In one instance, Cummings sold three of the individual’s savings bonds, worth $24,804. She deposited $10,804 into the individual’s account and bought a cashier’s check in her name for $10,000, which she deposited into her own bank account. Cummings received the remaining $4,000 in cash.

Cummings also sold three more savings bonds, worth $16,408. She received a cashier’s check in her name for $6,000, which she later deposited into her bank account, and the remaining $10,408 in cash.

In 2013, after several suspicious transactions involving the individual’s certificates of deposit and savings bonds, the bank contacted APS and local law enforcement. APS revoked Cummings’ power of attorney based on the suspicious activity.