Elizabeth "Daisy" Kupfer, who once worked for the state Attorney General's Office, was sentenced today to three years in federal prison for tax evasion in a case involving the theft of more than $2.5 million in federal election education funds through a contract with former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron's office.
In a news release, U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales said, “In this case, Mrs. Kupfer intentionally concealed over $750,000 of income." She was ordered to pay $288,339 in restitution to the IRS.
Earlier this year Kupfer's husband, Joe Kupfer, a former lobbyist, and political consultant Armando Gutierrez, 65, of Corpus Christi, Texas were found guilty of multiple charges including conspiracy and theft of government property.
Vigil-Giron hired Gutierrez to produce voter-education TV ads. He received more than $6 million in federal election money from 2004 to 2006. But prosecutors contended he could not account for more than $2.5 million of work under his contracts.
Gutierrez paid Kupfer's company $746,375, the government said, but never produced any documentation for hiring the company.
Vigil-Giron initially was indicted in the case, which originally was in state court. However, the charges against her eventually were dismissed.
Joe Kupfer and Gutierrez have not been sentenced yet.