In Grand Rapids, US District Judge Janet Nett sentenced Tammy sues Burdette, 52, of Battle Creek, to three years in prison. The judge also ordered Burdette to pay $569,852 in fees for filing false tax returns. Burdette was the office manager at VHC, PC from 2009 to 2012 and stole over $3 million, according to a new release from US Attorney Andrew Birge at the Western District of Michigan United States Attorney’s Office.
More on the Case
Burdette wrote several checks to herself from VHC’s bank account. She spent the money gambling and did not account for the funds on her tax returns, according to the news release.
The release further states:
“The defendant, Tammy Sue Burdette, stole more than $3 million and willfully failed to report that income to the Internal Revenue Service. Her conduct deprived the American taxpayer of $569,852 in tax revenue,” IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel said in a prepared statement. “As we approach the April 15 tax deadline, the public can rest assured that the special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to protect the U.S. tax system, ensuring everyone accurately reports their income and pays their fair share of taxes.”
IRS Criminal Investigations led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Stiffler led the prosecution.
Gambling Laws in Michigan
In Michigan, gambling is controlled at the state level. Taxes from gambling are usually used to pay for education or other necessary state services. Gambling that does not directly benefit the state through taxes is typically illegal in Michigan. State laws permit horse race betting at licensed racetracks and gambling at Native American casinos. Minor bets at bowling alleys, bingo, and other types of small bets are allowed.
Help For Problem Gambling
As gambling becomes more popular across the United States, more people are susceptible to problem or compulsive gambling. According to the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help, about 10 million people (2.6%) in the United States have a gambling problem.
Gambling is available everywhere from online site and apps to actual casinos. Now that there are, more ways to gamble online, players can engage in their favorite games in the privacy of their homes. It is also easier to gamble on the go with a smartphone. Gamblers can place their bets with credit cards, online payment services like PayPal or bitcoin. Unfortunately, this has contributed to gambling addiction.
Once a person has become addicted to gambling, he/she may start borrowing money from friends and family to support the habit. Problem gamblers often feel a rush of excitement when they gamble, but often sink into depression if they do not win the game.
Much like those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, gambling addicts will often start to become less alert and productive at work or school. They may stop showing up for class or work or be unprepared for essential projects or presentations. Gambling addicts may also steal from their relatives, friends, or employers to pay off gambling debts or to acquire large sums of money for their favorite games.
It is also important to note that gambling addiction takes a toll on American taxpayers. In 2016, it cost $73 million to fund programs that help problem gamblers. Despite the considerable cost, gambling is state-regulated and not federally regulated. D.C. and 10 US states do not have public funding gambling assistance. Treatment for gambling addiction varies from state to state, and the level of care varies as well. Getting help for gambling addiction can include counseling and therapy, as well as financial counseling.
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