SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — The top tax dodgers in California include a San Francisco landlord, a Burlingame company president and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who lost millions in the dot-com bubble, according to data from the state Franchise Tax Board released Thursday.
The top 500 delinquent tax payers collectively owe more than $160 million in back taxes.
The tax board sent them all letters in August warning them they were slated to appear on the list released. While 158 of them made arrangements to pay their debt, 286 people and 56 businesses did not and their names were published.
The top ten includes three Bay Area residents who together owe almost $6.4 million to the state.
The top Bay Area delinquent according to the state is David M. Raynal, a San Francisco landlord who was a partner in the notorious CitiApartments company. Raynal has had an outstanding lien for nearly $2.6 million since 2013, according to the state.
He was the managing partner with CitiApartments when the company was sued by the residents of seven of the company’s 150 apartment buildings and by San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera in separate lawsuits in 2006.
Herrera alleged the company bullied tenants into giving up rent-controlled apartments through unannounced visits by armed security agents and shutting off utilities without notice. Once the tenants vacated, the company would make unpermitted renovations and re-rent the apartments at much steeper prices, according to the city attorney’s office.
The company eventually settled with the city for millions in penalties.
Raynal continues to operate as a landlord in San Francisco, including as a partner of Lem-Ray Properties, according to business records. The Bay Area resident with the second-most delinquent taxes is Burlingame resident Neal Crispin, who owed nearly $2 million when a lien was filed last year, according to the state.
Crispin, the president of Burlingame-based aircraft leasing company AeroCentury Corp., has had trouble with federal tax collectors as well. In 2013, he lost an appeal in federal court while fighting a 2007 demand by the Internal Revenue Service for $3.1 million in unpaid taxes and a $1.2 million penalty.
The third biggest alleged tax dodger in the Bay Area is Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Hayden, who founded one of the Internet’s first search engines, Magellan, and has been attached to a long string of failed companies since. Hayden has had a lien for nearly $1.8 million since 2002.
Hayden was worth more than $100 million after taking another company, Critical Path, public in 1999 and opening a brokerage account with Robertson Stephens Inc., borrowing $30 million, according to court records. He defaulted on the loan three years later but sued Robertson Stephens alleging the company committed a breach of fiduciary duty.
Robertson Stephens won $27 million in arbitration but Hayden continued fighting.
The state publishes the list of tax evaders twice a year in April and October and has since 2007. The full list is available at www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/Delinquent_Taxpayers.shtml