A University of Minnesota professor in economics has been sentenced to time in the workhouse for failing to file her tax returns for years.
Beth E. Allen, 65, was sentenced Monday in Hennepin County District Court after pleading guilty to six tax evasion counts covering the years from 2010 to 2015. Statute of limitations prevented prosecutors from charging her with choosing to not file returns all the way back to 2003.
In addition to more than $100,000 Allen has already paid in back taxes, she must also pay an additional $10,917.65 in restitution to the state. While her sentence on the gross misdemeanor counts calls for a year in the workhouse, Allen is eligible to serve the final nine months on electronic home monitoring.
Allen’s status with the university has not changed in connection with her crimes; however, “the university is reviewing the details of the plea agreement she entered,” school spokeswoman Emmalynn Bauer said Tuesday.
“We are satisfied with the outcome,” County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. “It doesn’t matter if you are a tax preparer, a truck driver or an economics professor, if you don’t pay your taxes, we are going to prosecute you. It is everyone’s duty to pay taxes, not just some people.”
When interviewed in November 2016, Allen told authorities she knew she was behind on filing her returns but claimed she had not received notices from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. However, searches of her 2013 Mercedes-Benz, her office and where she was living turned up more than 60 letters from the Internal Revenue Service and 19 letters from the state Department of Revenue.
State investigators looked into Allen’s records and found that although she had a state withholding each year of $6,000, it wasn’t nearly enough to cover what she owed. As an economics professor who taught graduate students, Allen was earning $160,000 annually.
Additionally, the charges alleged that she “exploited” personal allowances by claiming 10 withholdings and received taxable distributions from her pension each year.
Investigators also found that Allen bought a Minneapolis condo in 1992 for $245,000 and made mortgage payments of $1,400 until it was foreclosed on in 2011, that she paid $94 a day to live at a hotel in Plymouth and paid $700 a month to store her belongings.
Credit card receipts show she spent thousands on travel, restaurants, grocery stores, liquor and wineries.