Researched By Linda Sutter – November 1, 2021 – pictures credit to courthousenews.com

Former SEIU California Executive Director Alma Hernández and her husband, Jose Moscoso, are facing 13 felonies in a criminal complaint filed Oct. 4 in Sacramento County Superior Court. On Friday, October 15th charges including tax fraud, embezzlement, perjury and failure to pay unemployment insurance taxes resulted in their getting booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. 13 counts are cited:

  • Count one — Grand theft on or around Oct. 23, 2014, Hernandez allegedly took $7,200 from the Working Families for Solorio for Senate 2014 Political Action Committee.
  • Count two — Grand theft on or around Oct. 30, 2014, Hernandez allegedly took $4,500 from the same committee.
  • Count three — Perjury on or around June 24, 2015, Hernandez identified the two payments from the Solorio fundraising committee to Moscoso as being related to food services, knowing they weren’t.
  • Filed false income tax return with intent to evade On or around Oct. 15, 2015, Hernandez and Moscoso allegedly under-reported income on their 2014 California income tax return by $65,165, avoiding $6,181 in taxes.
  • Count five — Filed false income tax return with intent to evade On or around Oct. 15, 2016, Hernandez and Moscoso allegedly under-reported income on their 2015 state income tax return by $102,721, avoiding $9,744 in taxes.
  • Count six — Filed false income tax return with intent to evade on or around Nov. 2, 2018, Hernandez and Moscoso allegedly under-reported income on their 2016 tax return by $176,608, avoiding $16,697 in taxes.
  • Count seven — Filed false income tax return with intent to evade On or around April 15, 2018, Hernandez and Moscoso under-reported income on their 2017 return by $416,734, avoiding $41,316 in taxes.
  • Count eight — Filed false income tax return with intent to evade On or around April 15, 2019, Hernandez and Moscoso allegedly under-reported their 2018 income by $666,646, avoiding $69,545 in taxes.
  • Count nine — Failed to file report with Employment Development Department Between Jan. 1, 2017 and June 30, 2020, Moscoso allegedly failed to file quarterly reports with EDD detailing wages and contributions paid to employees.
  • Failed to pay unemployment and training tax Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2020, Moscoso allegedly failed to pay $8,865 in unemployment insurance and $150 in employment tax training on behalf of LA Duct Cleaning.
  • Count 11 — Failed to pay disability insurance Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2020, Moscoso allegedly failed to pay $3,098 in disability insurance to EDD on behalf of workers.
  • Count 12 — Failed to file employment tax returns with intent to evade paying taxes Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2020, allegedly Moscoso failed to file a tax return for LA Duct Cleaning showing $316,831 in wages paid to employees.
  • Count 13 — Failed to collect and pay personal income tax.

Her transfers from a political action committee to Moscoso in 2014 caught the attention of a Fair Political Practices Commission investigator during a routine audit in 2018, setting off an investigation into the couple’s LA-based HVAC business, according to the complaint. Hernandez is accused of making $11,400 in fraudulent payments to Moscoso from a political action committee when she was the committee’s treasurer and SEIU California’s political director, according to the complaint. The committee supported a state Senate bid by former Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio, of Santa Ana.

Hernandez identified the payments, which were quickly transferred to an account shared by the couple, as reimbursement for catering services for campaign volunteers, when in reality Moscoso didn’t provide any food, the complaint says. The couple allegedly under-reported income by $1.4 million for their business, LA Duct Company, from 2014 through 2018, dodging $143,000 in taxes, according to the complaint. And Moscoso allegedly paid his employees under the table, avoiding paying about $80,000 in unemployment insurance taxes and about $3,100 in disability insurance, the complaint says. The charging documents include a white collar crime enhancement that would require the couple to serve time in state prison, saying the couple’s pattern of felony conduct resulted in a loss to the state Franchise Tax Board of more than $100,000.

The SEIU union represents over 700,000 workers across the state representing local government employees, state workers, in-home caregivers, lecturers, janitors and health and care professionals, among others.

Hernandez had been in her position since 2016 before she resigned last month.

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