And while authorities never successfully got prostitution charges to stick, they have finally suceeded in a criminal conviction of Warthen for charges stemming from unpaid taxes -- essentially using the same tactics for the mob, instead prosecuting a lone young woman with college loans to pay.
For much of the time the feds had her in their sights, Warthen was married to Ask.com cofounder David Warthen, who at one point explained away $60,000 in cash as a gift to his fiancée. (The couple has since divorced.)
Warthen apparently bilked Uncle Sam out of a whopping $25,424 in 2003, and the courts had already seized assets as part of a civil suit in 2004.
The sentence for the conviction of being a criminal tax cheat will leave Warthen in house arrest for a year, and orders her to pay $243.000 in taxes, fines and restitution.
"Whatever will naughty Warthen do at home all day to pay back the government," asks Valleywag. But it's a sad fact of the criminal justice system to give sentences that seem to allow offenders just enough rope to hang themselves with, as though by design.
Jackson West says "Your tax dollars at work, America."