Eugene, Ore. – A Eugene Police Financial Investigations Unit detective is seeking any potential leads and victims in the case of a bookkeeper who stopped making tax payments for customers, leaving them liable for state and federal tax payments and penalties.
Shirley Jean Stout, age 64, operates Eugene Tax Service Inc. and failed to make tax payments for two separate business customers since 2019, but she was still collecting their tax money. She is reported to have taken money out of the business customers’ paychecks and directly deposited the funds to her own personal account, failing to upload funds to the state and federal websites, then spending the money.
Stout does payroll for a number of local businesses. She also handles payroll taxes for those companies. The investigation revealed Stout was comingling her customers’ money with her personal account, and she was using their tax money for her personal expenses. The investigation also revealed she was using incoming funds from clients to pay old tax bills for other clients, so some of her victims are unaware she was stealing from them. There are five known, local businesses that are victims, but the detective suspects there are more.
Yesterday the Eugene Police Financial Investigations Unit served a search warrant at Stout’s registered business address, and recovered evidence supporting multiple charges of Aggravated Theft in the First Degree. They were assisted by agents from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.
EPD Financial Investigations Unit is asking any local businesses that think they could potentially be victims of Stout to email Detective Chris White at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Information from EPD)