Who says crime doesn’t pay? Remember Cristina Warthen (nee Schultz), the Stanford Law School grad who engaged in a little “risky business” to help pay for her student loans? Warthen reportedly grossed more than $300,000 working as a hooker in California under the name “Brazil” on her now-defunct web site, touchofbrazil.net.
As fate would have it, Warthen was never charged with prostitution but still found herself subject to criminal charges. Warthen was arrested for tax evasion as a result of her failure to report her illegal income on her tax returns.
If convicted, Warthen could have faced five years in prison and more than $100,000 in fines. However, today she reached a plea agreement in her case that resulted in no jail time. She’ll serve a year of home detention and pay more than $300,000 in back taxes, fines and penalties to the Treasury – a sum she’ll have no trouble producing now that she has married super rich David Warthen, founder of Ask Jeeves.
Warthen also received three years probation which means that she’ll have to keep her, um, nose clean.
In the agreement, Warthen admitted to hiding money from the taxing authorities including stashing cash in an old law school book. As someone who has paid hundreds of dollars to use a law school book for one semester, I personally admire her ingenuity in finding another use for the darn thing. I guess she learned something at Stanford after all.

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.


  1. You know, sometimes I think one way to get really rich is to do something illegal where you can get a lot of money out of it, and then you’ll have money to pay for your lawyers once you screw up and then still have lots of money left after the lawsuits (fees and fines). Not that I am about to do something illegal, but it worked for many.

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