The California Attorney General announced the filing of criminal charges in Sacramento County Superior Court against Alma Hernandez and Jose Moscoso as a result of a multiagency investigation by the Tax Recovery in the Underground Economy (TRUE) Task Force.
Investigators say the leader of SEIU California and her husband embezzled from a union-run PAC and lied on their taxes for half a decade. Facing multiple felonies, Alma Hernandez resigned her union post Wednesday. SEIU California represents over 700,000 employees in every county of the state.
The California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation began looking into the married couple after an investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission revealed Hernandez, who was the Executive Director of SEIU California, allegedly embezzled money from an SEIU California-sponsored political action committee (PAC).
The California Franchise Tax Board uncovered alleged underreporting of Hernandez’s and Moscoso’s income from 2014 to 2019. The Employment Development Department (EDD) also identified that Moscoso’s air duct cleaning business allegedly failed to report employees’ wages from 2017 to 2020.
Hernandez previously served as the treasurer of the Working Families for Solorio for Senate 2014 PAC. The complaint alleges that in October 2014, two checks totaling $11,700 were approved by Hernandez and issued by the PAC’s bank account to Moscoso for services he did not provide.
According to the complaint, Moscoso and Hernandez also allegedly filed false joint income tax returns when they underreported $1,427,874 of income to the FTB for tax years 2014 through 2018. The couple are alleged to owe $143,483 in unpaid income tax.
According to court documents, Moscoso allegedly did not disclose to EDD that he employed multiple individuals to work in his air duct cleaning business, resulting in more than $300,000 in unreported wages. Additionally, from 2017 through 2020, Moscoso allegedly failed to file quarterly reports with EDD and failed to pay more than $16,000 in employment taxes.
It would be reasonable to assume that perhaps workers’ compensation premium fraud arose out of the payroll fraud. However, the Attorney General did NOT include workers’ compensation premium fraud as a charge. It is not known if it was investigated or ruled out.
Hernandez faces two counts of grand theft, one count of perjury and five counts of filing a false income tax return with intent to evade.
Moscoso is also charged with five counts of filing a false income tax return with intent to evade, one count of failure to file a report with the Employment Development Department, one count of failure to pay unemployment insurance and training tax, one count of failure to pay disability insurance, one count of failure to file employment tax returns with intent to evade paying taxes, and one count of failure to collect and pay personal income tax.
Both Hernandez and Moscoso are charged with a special allegation of aggravated white collar crime with loss over $100,000.
Arraignment has been set for Friday morning in Sacramento County Superior Court.