Orange County Woman Claimed to be a CPA
Elana Mae Mitchell, owner of HB Accounting in Huntington Beach, was convicted of grand theft and practicing public accountancy without a license on September 19, 2016.
The investigation was initiated after the California Board of Accountancy received a complaint that Mitchell claimed she was a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) and accepted $15,000 as payment to complete audit reports, which she signed as a CPA. The consumer later learned that Mitchell was not licensed and the reports she had completed could not be used.
Mitchell was granted a plea agreement that included an order to pay restitution to her victim and she was sentenced to five years of probation.
The investigation was conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI). In an undercover operation, DOI’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit Lakewood Field Office found that Mitchell offered to provide public accounting services. Charges were then filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Mitchell is currently on probation in Orange County for an unrelated matter after she pled guilty to felony counts of forgery and second-degree burglary in 2014.
Mitchell was previously licensed as a CPA, but her license lapsed when she failed to pay renewal fees and complete her continuing education courses. In 2006, she was issued a citation for practicing public accountancy without a license and in 2010, her license was revoked.
The California Board of Accountancy Accusation and Decision can be read here.