LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Department of Public safety resulted in a former Burke's Center payroll coordinator being arrested in connection to allegations that she doctored employees' W-2 forms and deleted insurance payments to steal a total of $10,441.24.
Jennifer Renee Hawkins, 41, of Livingston, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony theft charge on Thursday. She was released later that day after she posted a $2,000 bail.
According to the arrest affidavit, Hawkins committed the theft during a period of time from Dec. 1, 2009 to Jan. 31, 2013. Burke Center officials alleged that Hawkins had changed year-end W-2 forms for various employees by reducing their federal income tax contributions and increasing her the federal income tax contribution on her own W-2 the exact same amounts for four consecutive years.
The affidavit stated that the Burke Center's accounting manager found an initial discrepancy when he or she ran an annual report on the business' five highest paid employees, she found that the federal income tax withholding on the W-2 was less than the amount listed on the cost center earning report. As a result, the accounting manager took a more in-depth look at the company's payroll records.
In 2009, eight employees had a lesser amount noted on their W-2s than they had actually paid in federal income tax for the year. The combined total the employees were shorted was $1,208.95. According to the end-of-the-year paystub, Hawkins, paid $421.96 in federal income tax. However, her W-2 for the same year indicated that she had paid $1,630.91 in federal income tax, the affidavit stated. The difference was exactly $1,208.95, the affidavit stated.
In 2010, 16 employees were shorted on their W-2s for a total of $1,900. Hawkins' end-of-the-year paystub stated she paid a total of $413.24 in federal income tax. The affidavit stated that her W-2 for that year listed her federal income tax contribution for that year as $2,313.24, with a difference of exactly $1,900.
In similar fashion, Hawkins allegedly shorted 22 employees a combined total of $2,300 in 2011. According to the affidavit, her end-of-the-year paystub said that she paid $717 in federal income tax. However, her W-2 said she paid $3,017.15, the affidavit stated. The difference was exactly $2,300.
Eleven employees were shorted on their W-2 in 2012 for a combined total of $2,111.19, the affidavit stated. The payroll records showed that Hawkins paid $299.27 in federal income tax, yet her W-2 indicated that she had paid $2,410.91 in federal income tax, the affidavit stated.
In addition, the DPS investigator learned that Hawkins had failed to pay $2,796 in insurance payments to the Burke Center, the affidavit stated. Hawkins allegedly deleted those payments from her monthly paystubs.
The affidavit also stated that Hawkins deleted $125.10 in loan fees.