Long Beach Woman Sentenced for Felony Tax Evasion After Concealing Millionaire Ex-Husband’s Income

After concealing her ex-husband’s income to help him avoid paying state taxes for multiple years, a 70-year-old Long Beach woman was handed down a three-year probation sentence yesterday and ordered to pay $598,000 in restitution to the state Franchise Tax Board.

Linda Ann Knowlton previously pleaded no contest to one felony count of tax evasion in September 2016, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Authorities said the defendant was married to Tommy Knowlton, who made millions in the oil business. Court records related to civil lawsuits against Tommy show him connected to the Texas-based Tekxon Onshore Operating Co. and Tekxon Onshore Oil & Gas companies, with an operating office at one point located in Long Beach’s Park Estates neighborhood.

In 1996, Tommy—who died in 2015—stopped filing income tax returns and between 2008 and 2011 funneled more than $70 million to his ex-wife’s personal checking account.

“During this time, Linda Knowlton had no other source of income other than from her ex-husband,” according to the district attorney’s office. “They continued living together at a home she bought in spite of her lack of personal income.”

Linda was the only signer to her checking account and would often write checks to Tommy and his creditors to be paid by the money he deposited into her account in an effort to launder his income and conceal it from tax authorities, according to Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Stodel of the White Collar Crime Division, who prosecuted the case.

The case was investigated by the state Franchise Tax Board.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.