Former president of Va. tobacco company faces charges of evading taxes, falsifying documents

The former president of a South Boston tobacco company has been charged with evading taxes, lying on legally required paperwork and using corporate money for personal items.

A 47-count federal grand jury indictment against Kathryn Crabtree Farley was returned last week and unsealed Monday. Farley, 46, is accused of evading or refusing to pay more than $13 million in federal cigarette excise taxes and violating the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act by falsifying records. Other charges include wire fraud and money laundering.

According to the indictment, Farley was promoted from vice president to president of Cherokee Tobacco and Firebird Manufacturing in 2012. Firebird makes Cherokee brand cigarettes and Cherokee Tobacco is its wholesale subsidiary.

Records in U.S. District Court in Roanoke do not list an attorney for Farley. A call to her home telephone went unanswered Tuesday.

The indictment says that between November 2011 and August 2013, Farley "willfully refused to pay and attempted to evade or defeat" the federal tobacco excise tax by signing fraudulent tax returns filed with the Treasury Department. It lists 22 biweekly returns understating corporate tax liabilities and seven instances of Farley allegedly falsifying invoices required of anyone who distributes more than 60,000 cigarettes in a single transaction.

The wire fraud charges pertain to Farley's alleged misuse of company money, including nearly $56,000 for a boat and trailer, $7,850 for a Florida vacation rental and $4,160 for college tuition.

The money laundering counts accuse Farley of using more than $123,000 in unlawfully obtained proceeds to buy two campers and three vehicles.