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Glendale man admits to embezzling $2.8-million and filing fake tax returns

Glendale man admits to embezzling $2.8-million and filing fake tax returns
Sean Edin Talaee, a 62-year-old living in Glendale, pleaded guilty this week to embezzling $2.8-million from a Burbank business where he worked and for filing fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. (Zach Gibson / Getty Images)

A Glendale man faces 23 years in prison after pleading guilty on Monday to embezzling more than $2.8 million from his workplace in Burbank.

Sean Edin Talaee, 62, pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and subscribing to a false income tax return.

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Authorities said Talaee used his position as the controller of Printograph Inc., a commercial printing company, to steal money from the firm from October 2015 to June 2018 by falsifying checks to the Internal Revenue Service. As controller, Talaee oversaw Printograph’s accounting and tax payments.

The IRS said in a statement that Talaee would get tax payment checks signed off by the company’s president before they were sent to the federal agency. The checks would usually be for $200,000 or $400,000.

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On at least eight occasions, he inserted his own taxpayer information on IRS voucher forms when sending out the payment checks.

The IRS said this allowed him to claim the tax payments for himself, leading the agency to credit the money to his bank account.

This won’t be the first time Talaee will serve time for an embezzlement scheme. He was accused by the California Franchise Tax Board in 2004 of embezzling $525,000 from a Covina-based aerospace subcontractor, where he was employed as a controller.

He served three years in prison after pleading no contest to charges of grand theft and filing a false state income tax return.

Besides misappropriating money from Printograph, Talaee underreported his own personal income on his tax returns by failing to report the embezzled money for 2015, 2016 and 2017, authorities said.

In addition to the prison sentence, he was hit with a $350,000 fine and may be required to pay $740,085 in restitution to the IRS.

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