A University of Minnesota economics professor accused of failing to pay state income taxes for 12 years has been charged with tax evasion.
According to 12 felony and gross misdemeanor counts filed Friday in Hennepin County District Court, Beth Elaine Allen, 64, is estimated to owe the state more than $50,000 in outstanding taxes, penalties and interest over a five-year period. Charges say Allen failed to pay income taxes since at least 2003, but due to the statute of limitations for tax crimes, charges are limited to years 2010 to 2015.
Allen, who teaches Ph.D.-level economics classes at the U, earns $160,000 annually.
According to charges, Minnesota Department of Revenue 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 her tax owed. Additionally, charges say she “exploited” personal allowances by claiming 10 withholdings and received taxable distributions from her pension each year. Investigators discovered a 1998 tax return filed in 2002 with a partial payment, which “demonstrates that Defendant knew of her obligation to file a Minnesota Individual Income tax return,” charges said.
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 in 2011, that she paid $94 a day to live at the Residence Inn in Plymouth and pays $700 a month to store her belongings. Credit card receipts show she spent thousands on travel, restaurants, grocery stores, liquor and wineries.
Police executed search warrants at her room at the Residence Inn and her office at the U. They found a 2013 Mercedes-Benz, 19 letters from the Department of Revenue and 60 letters from the IRS and Philadelphia Department of Revenue.
Allen is not in custody. She could not be reached for comment.