Yorba Linda family operated illegal towing company, D.A. says
A Yorba Linda family and a business associate accused of operating a fraudulent security and towing company have been charged with crimes related to tax evasion, conspiracy to dissuade a witness and conspiracy to commit a crime, Orange County prosecutors said.
The operators of Security Towing and Nite & Day Security are accused of breaking the law by having security guards illegally authorize the towing of vehicles in Orange County without the written authorization of property owners, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
While under investigation in March 2010, prosecutors said, the company illegally towed a vehicle from an Orange apartment complex. After the vehicle's owner reported it to police, the family allegedly forged the signature of the complex manager on a tow authorization document and presenting it to police, as well as contacting the complex manager and encouraging him to lie to authorities, prosecutors said.
The companies are also accused of paying employees in cash and not providing pay stubs or required tax documents, prosecutors said. The owners are accused of failing to may more than $150,000 in employment taxes, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also said that at one point during their investigation, the suspects threatened a witness cooperating with prosecutors.
Ernest Boone, 71, and Martha Boone, 61 -- as well as one of their sons, Edward Boone, 29 -- have been charged with seven misdemeanor counts of failing to file a return with the intent to evade tax, two felony counts of conspiring to dissuade a witness and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, forgery and unlawful taking of a vehicle, prosecutors said.
If convicted, they could each face a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison, prosecutors said.
A business associate of the Boones, Patrick Peter Tocher, 53, is charged with 21 felony counts of failing to file a return with the intent to evade tax, two felony counts of conspiring to dissuade a witness and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, forgery and unlawful taking of a vehicle. He faces 20 years and eight months in state prison if convicted, prosecutors said.
Two companies, Nite & Day Security and Security Towing, were operated by Tocher until 2008, when the Boones -- Ernest Boone was one of Tocher's former employees -- took them over. Security Towing became Independent Towing, and both companies operated from a tow yard in Santa Ana, prosecutors said.
The companies have been under investigation since March 2009, when the Orange County district attorney's office received a complaint.
All four of the Boones have been released from custody on $25,000 bail, and Tocher is free on $65,000 bail, prosecutors said.
All five are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
-- Rick Rojas