A former Pleasanton woman was sentenced to 36 months in prison Wednesday for tax evasion while working with an Oakland company, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California. Ranni Hillyer, 57, was indicted on Oct. 8, 2009 after she failed to report $3.8 million on her federal income tax returns for 2002, 2003 and 2004.
According to her plea agreement, in 2002 Hillyer, who recently resided in San Diego and was employed by Aero Financial, was the sole proprietor for Beyond CFO, a financial firm in the Bay Area. The company had a consulting agreement with the chairman and CEO of Ramsell Corporation, a public health service provider company in Oakland.
In April 2003, Hillyer was hired by Ramsell as the CFO and was appointed as the COO. She was the financial investment advisor for the CEO and handled his personal and business banking needs from 2002 through 2004, according to Haag. During this period Hillyer took funds from the CEO’s personal and business bank accounts, totaling at least $3,880,862.
She used this money to pay vendors who worked on her home, to pay off her line of credit at Bank of America and to pay for business expenses. She also used the money to purchase real estate for herself and a family member and to make loans for third parties, according to Haag. In doing so, she evaded income tax assessments.
She owed an additional $1,387,294 in taxes. Along with her 36-month prison sentence, Hillyer was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,387,294 for tax evasion, according to Haag. A criminal investigation through the Internal Revenue Service prosecuted this case.
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