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Union Leader Charged With Embezzlement And Tax Fraud

Okabe & Haushalter Oct 14, 2021 White Collar Crimes

The executive director for SEIU California, Alma Hernandez, resigned on October 4 after being charged with embezzlement and tax fraud. SEIU California is the state’s largest labor union. Hernandez’s husband, Jose Moscoso, was also charged. She had been a member of the union’s leadership since 2016.

If you are being investigated or have been charged with a white-collar crime, your freedom and reputation are at stake. The Los Angeles white collar crime attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter have the law experience and ability to fight for your freedom and keep your reputation in good standing.

A Labored Union

SEIU California represents more than 700,000 workers, more than a dozen local unions, including education workers, healthcare workers, and state workers. The labor union donates millions of dollars to Democratic candidates, considered to be one of California’s most politically influential unions.

According to the complaint filed by Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office, Hernandez and her husband were charged with five felony counts, including:

  • Filing false tax returns
  • Under-reporting their income by about $1.4 million over five years
  • Two charges of grand theft
  • A charge of perjury from her stint as treasurer on a political committee supporting a state Senate candidate in 2014

Several entities came together in this investigation, including:

  • The attorney general’s office
  • The Employment Development Department
  • The Franchise Tax Board
  • The Fair Political Practices Commission (a campaign finance watchdog)

Allegedly, Hernandez directed nearly $12,000 in campaign money for her husband to provide food service for the campaign, but no services were ever received. According to campaign finance filings, she used SEIU California finances to make numerous contributions to the same political committee.

In a separate filing, Moscoso was charged with failing to pay employment taxes for his business and unreported wages.

The complaint alleges the couple owes the state more than $140,000 and could face state prison time.

Explaining White-Collar Crimes

In the simplest definition, white-collar crimes are nonviolent criminal acts that typically involve some financial offense. The range of these offenses is a broad spectrum, but some of the most common include:

  • Blackmail or Extortion
  • Bribery
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Health-Care fraud (including Medicare fraud and Medicaid fraud)
  • Identity Theft
  • Insider Trading
  • Insurance fraud
  • Internet and Computer Crime (covers financial crimes, fraud, harassment, stalking, child pornography, etc.)
  • Public corruption
  • Securities Fraud
  • Tax Evasion
  • Federal White-Collar Crimes (the federal criminal process is managed differently than state-level crimes)

When should I contact a lawyer?

Innocent or guilty does not matter. If you have been charged for committing a white-collar crime, you will need a lawyer who knows how to navigate the long and twisted roads of a criminal investigation and charges.

These cases can involve local and federal governments. Misdemeanor and felony charges can be brought against you. These cases can get very severe and very complicated, very quickly. You need the Los Angeles white-collar crime attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter in your corner, fighting for your rights. Contact us for a free consultation of your case today by clicking here or calling 310-430-7799.