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Employment Tax Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to employment tax fraud. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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August 10, 2022

Melissa Lynne Horner, co-owner of H & H Earthworks, Inc., will spend 30 months in prison and pay over $2.8 million in restitution for failing to pay employee and employer taxes to the IRS, as well as Earthworks’ portion of the FICA taxes. Rather than paying taxes, Horner used the money for her personal gain, spending over $100,000 on motor sport vehicles, $90,000 to a real estate title company, and at least $50,000 on home renovations and $20,000 for a motorhome. USAO MT

August 10, 2022

Thomas Valdez Rodriguez will spend 24 months in prison and will pay over $12.7 million in restitution to the IRS. As owner of Tom-E-Lee Trucking and Tom-E-Lee Industries, Rodriguez failed to withhold employment taxes from his employees. In addition to his failures to meet his businesses’ tax obligations, Rodriguez has not paid personal income taxes since 2011. Rather than paying his taxes, Rodriguez lived extravagantly and enjoyed flying his friends on private jets to Dallas Cowboys games, where Rodriguez was a season ticket holder on the 50-yard line. All told, the harm to the government equated $12,714,214.42, of which Rodriguez paid $1 million immediately prior to his sentencing. USAO WDTX

July 14, 2022

Jesus Jose Mendez, co-owner of J&J Drywall, Inc., was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $2.8 million to the IRS, and $62,730 to the MA DOL for evading income and employment taxes, and not making the requisite state unemployment contributions. From 2013 to 2017, defendants cashed over $16 million in business checks at check-cashing businesses and would leave cash-filled backpacks at their worksites from which to pay their employees. Meanwhile, deposits into the J&J bank account during this same timeframe equaled only $4 million, and deposits were frequently structured in amounts less than $10k, evading reporting requirements. Federal tax losses are estimated at just over $2.8 million, and the loss to MA DOL equaled nearly $63,000. Jamie Zambrano, Mendez’s business partner, is currently a fugitive. USAO RI

May 14, 2021

Dusko Bruer, who owned and operated an agricultural machinery company, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $2.8 million in restitution following his conviction on tax evasion charges.  Between 2003 and 2009, Bruer's company did not file or pay either corporate or employment taxes.  Bruer was not paid a salary; instead, he used funds from corporate bank accounts for personal expenses.  Bruer also failed to report foreign bank accounts that he owned and controlled, and to which he transferred millions of dollars between at last 2006 and 2015.   DOJ

October 9, 2020

Steve Choi, who owned and operated companies that provided food services in federal government buildings in the D.C. area, was sentenced to nearly two years in prison and ordered to pay over $11 million in restitution following his guilty plea on tax charges.  The government alleged that Choi failed to pay over $10 million in employment and sales taxes, despite withholding more than $4.4 million in employment taxes from employee checks and charging sales taxes to customers.  DOJ

March 11, 2020

The owner and operator of multiple parcel delivery businesses in Florida has been sentenced to 2 years in prison and ordered to pay $9 million in restitution for withholding over $10.8 million in payroll taxes.  Despite his business earning over $100 million in revenue, and despite withholding taxes from hundreds of employees, Ricardo Betancourt failed to actually pay it to the IRS and instead used those funds to finance personal expenses and other business ventures.  DOJ

Top Ten Tax Enforcement Actions of 2019

Posted  01/17/20
Hundred Dollar Bills with American Flag, and 1040 Tax Form
Tax fraud and tax evasion persist each year in various forms and whistleblowers have been at the forefront in combatting entities and individuals cheating the system. Under the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program, whistleblowers who bring information regarding tax fraud to light that results in a recover of over $2 million can be eligible for a reward between 15 to 30% of the government’s recovery. The IRS...

September 20, 2019

Pradyumna Kumar Samal, the former CEO of two Bellevue, Washington IT firms, has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for his role in a long-running H1-B visa fraud scheme.  Samal's companies, Divensi and Azimetry, were employment agencies in the business of providing IT workers to major corporate clients.  Samal would submit fraudulent applications on behalf of foreign workers, claiming that they were being brought to the U.S. to perform a specific job, and instructing them to lie in their own applications, when, in fact, after being admitted, the employees would be benched and unpaid until Samal's companies were able to place them at actual client jobs.  In addition, Samal's companies failed to pay employment taxes on behalf of the foreign workers, instead diverting those funds to his personal use.  USAO WD WA

August 12, 2019

The CEO of a Colorado-based technology company has been sentenced to over 6 years in prison for defrauding the IRS, impeding the administration of tax laws, and stealing money from his employees’ healthcare and 401(K) plans.  As the head of Touchbase USA (TBUSA) and its successor company Touchbase Global Services, Inc. (TBGSI), Riordan Maynard allegedly stole over $50,000 from his employees’ healthcare plan and $68,000 from their 401(K) plans for use on company expenses.  He also caused TBUSA to be closed and TBGSI to be opened in order to avoid paying more than $2.5 million in unpaid payroll taxes.  After running up another $2.5 million in unpaid payroll taxes, Maynard also conspired to work around IRS levies sent to his customers.  USAO CO

July 19, 2019

Lawrence Robert Gazdick Jr., owner of a Virginia equipment rental business operating under the names National Technology Rentals, NTL Technology Leasing Services, and AV Rental Solutions, pleaded guilty to employment tax fraud, withholding payroll taxes from employee paychecks but failing to file payroll tax returns or pay the IRS.  In total, Gazdick caused a loss to the IRS of approximately $5.35 millionDOJ
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