Malibu man gets five years probation for grand theft, tax charges


A Malibu man was given five years probation after pleading guilty to grand theft and filing false state income tax returns, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz ordered Dale Duko, 50, to also pay restitution of $36,168 to FTB for unpaid taxes, penalties, interest and the cost of the investigation.

According to court documents, Duko was employed as a manager of a local sound studio. Duko embezzling more than $230,000 from his employer during the years 1999 through 2006, by diverting payments made to his employer into his personal bank account. Duko failed to claim any of the embezzled income on his state income tax returns for the same period. All income is taxable, including income from illegal sources.

The underreporting of income is part of the $6.5 billion tax gap now facing California. The tax gap is defined as the difference between the tax that is owed and the tax that is due.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Serena Murillo prosecuted the case. This was a joint investigation between the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the FTB.

—Laura Tate