A 56-year-old Santa Monica woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to a federal tax charge admitting that she attempted to conceal income from the Internal Revenue Service while operating her deep tissue massage therapy business catering to celebrity and high net worth clients.
Utta Hollingshead, owner of Utta Body Sculpture, Inc. in Beverly Hills, pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing to a false federal income tax return for the 2005 calendar year.
Hollingshead entered her guilty plea before United States District Judge Manuel L. Real.
According to her plea agreement, for the year 2005, Hollingshead reported to the IRS that her business had gross receipts of approximately $122,595, when in fact, a federal investigation uncovered gross receipts of more than $332,000.
Similarly, Hollingshead failed to report business income for the 2006 and 2007 tax years, causing a total tax loss to the government of $167,720.
During the years 2005 through 2007, Hollingshead accepted from business clients large payments by check made payable to cash.
She then endorsed those checks directly to her credit card to pay personal expenses, including luxury trips overseas.
These payments from clients and some cash payments as well, were never deposited into the Utta Body Sculpture bank account and were not disclosed to Hollingshead’s tax return preparer.
As a result of today’s guilty plea, Hollingshead faces a statutory maximum sentence of 3 years in federal prison and a fine of at least $250,000.
Judge Real ordered Hollingshead to appear for sentencing on Feb. 25, 2013.
The investigation of Hollingshead was conducted by IRS – Criminal Investigation in Los Angeles in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office-Tax Division for the Central District of California.