A Chappaqua-N.Y. based CPA has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for pocketing more than $320,000 of his clients' tax refunds over 11 years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.
Randal Kase, 56, stole at least 60 refunds between 1998 and 2009 by having the refund checks mailed to himself and then forging his clients' signatures. He stated, falsely, that his clients had signed the refund checks over to him.
In court Friday, Kase apologized to his victims, many of whom were close friends. "I am so regretful, so sorry, to the people that loved me, trusted me, to family, to friends", he said, according to the Journal News of White Plains. "There's no excuse for my behavior."
Court papers say that Kase used some of the money to pay off credit card bills and some was deposited. One client informed the IRS that he had never received his tax refund check in the amount of $25,431.73, but the money had been deposited into a bank account in Randal Kase's name. Also, a Westchester County doctor, a client of Kase's for 20 years, had about 25 refund checks totaling $165,000 diverted by Kase. The complaint states that on 21 of those checks, the victim's "eight-letter last name was misspelled in the exact same way."
Kase's attorney, Susanne Brody, asked for a prison sentence of a year and a day, but U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel rejected the request, saying "Kase's station in life left him with advantages that many other defendants appearing in court never have, making his crimes less understandable", the newspaper reported.
Kase, who was arrested in February and pleaded guilty to forgery and mail fraud last April, was ordered to repay nearly $309,000.