Ridgefield Woman Sentenced for Hiding $1.3 Mill

Ridgefield's Stepping Stone Farm was at the center of the crime, which involved $1.3 million in cash and tax evasion.


Federal authorities sentenced a Ridgefield woman to a year of probation for attempting to remove more than $1.3 million in cash from safe deposit boxes in order to prevent its seizure. Juliana Starbuck, 37, of Ridgefield, was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 4, 2007, the U.S. District Court in Connecticut issued search warrants authorizing agents of the Internal Revenue Service to search Stepping Stone Farm, a commercial horse farm located at 20 Mopus Bridge Road in Ridgefield, and two safe deposit boxes at a branch of Webster Bank located at 25 Prospect Street in Ridgefield. 

On December 7, 2007, the IRS agents sought to execute the search warrants, proceeding first to .  On that date, IRS agents spoke by telephone to Juliana Cole Weber, the owner of Stepping Stone Farm, who then instructed one of her daughters to provide safe deposit box keys to the agents so that they would not have to drill and damage the boxes to access their contents. 

However, before the agents arrived at the Webster Bank, Weber’s other daughter, Juliana Starbuck arrived at the bank and began to empty the safe deposit boxes of numerous envelopes containing large amounts of cash.  When agents arrived, they found Starbuck bagging more than $1.3 million in cash that she had removed from the boxes.  The IRS agents took custody of the cash at that time.

On November 9, 2011, Starbuck pleaded guilty to one count of removal of evidence to prevent seizure.  She also has paid $101,656.00 in federal taxes she owed, along with interest and penalties.

On September 26, 2011, Weber pleaded guilty to one count tax evasion and one count of failure to collect and pay tax.  Weber admitted that, during the tax years 2001 through 2006, she filed personal income tax returns with the IRS that under-reported her taxable federal income by a total of more than $1.1 million, resulting in a failure to pay more than $389,000 in personal income taxes due on that unreported income.  In addition, during the 2005 and 2006 tax years, she failed to collect and pay to the IRS federal income tax withholding and FICA taxes that were owed on Stepping Stone Farm’s employee payroll, for a total, additional tax underpayment of $190,308.24.

On March 6, Weber was sentenced to four months of imprisonment and was ordered to pay a fine of $5000.  Also, as part of a stipulated civil forfeiture agreement, Weber has forfeited to the federal government $1 million that was seized at the bank in December 2007. 

An additional $333,755.58 that was seized from the safe deposit box, and $31,870.05 in cash that was seized from two safes at the Stepping Stone Farm, has been credited against her civil tax liability.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Henry K. Kopel.

This was a press release.

Kendall L Owott June 27, 2012 at 04:03 AM
The Obama Feds are far too lenient. The NCPD will charge you with a 1 yr imprisonment felony charge for a $200 sports flag larceny. Assistant US Attorney Kopel may have a different job if Romney gets in. He should learn how it's done in New Canaan, where law and order mean something.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »