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Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023

Couple Sentenced in Retirement, Tax Scam

The owners of a Glendale post-production house were sentenced to 18 months in prison after embezzling from their employees’ retirement plan and failing to pay taxes. Ronald Burdett, 75, and Karen Burdett, 70, of Shadow Hills, plead guilty to the charges in November before Judge Gary Feess in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The sentencing Monday included an order for the two to pay more than $102,000 to their employees’ retirement accounts and more than $971,000 in taxes. The Burdetts were owners of film editing companies Sunset Post Inc., Sunset Digital Studios Inc. and Sunset Teleproduction Center, all in Glendale. The couple were trustees for the employee retirement benefit plan. Starting in 2006, they stopped putting employee contributions into the plan, according to a release from the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service. The Burdetts withdrew $585,000 from the primary bank account of their business and used the funds to pay bills, make retail purchases and improve their Shadow Hills home, according to the IRS. Ronald Burdett is scheduled to turn himself in May 2, while Karen Burdett will be in custody nearly two months later. The two will both serve an additional three years of supervised release once their prison sentences are complete.

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