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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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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

February 14, 2019

Adam Van Pelt of Houston, Texas, who owned Stat Source, Inc., has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $20 million for failing to pay over more than $20 million in employment taxes to the IRS over the course of 18 quarters between 2011 and 2015.  USAO SD TX

November 21, 2018

Wagdy Guirguis of Honolulu, the owner of several engineering businesses, and Michael Higa, a CPA and the controller for those businesses, were convicted on multiple counts arising from a tax evasion scheme that diverted funds from Guirguis's business entities.  The entities failed to pay the IRS withheld employment taxes, failed to report all income received, and failed to file required returns.  Guirguis was also found to have impeded the IRS investigation and made false statements to revenue officers.  DOJ

November 16, 2018

The owner of Virginia-based Family Discount Pharmacy, Jerry R. Harper, Jr., was sentenced to 41 months in prison for failing to account for and pay more than $5 million in employment tax liabilities, despite withholding such taxes from employee wages.  Between 1998 and 2014, Harper filed only one quarterly employment tax return for the pharmacy.  DOJ

July 12, 2018

A Collinsville, Virginia pharmacist pleaded guilty to failing to account for and pay over employment taxes, announced the Justice Department’s Tax Division. According to court documents, Jerry R. Harper, Jr., 61, owned and operated Family Discount Pharmacy, Inc. (FDP) in Stanleytown, Virginia, with multiple locations in Stuart, Rocky Mount, Chatham, and Brosville, Virginia. As owner of FDP, Harper was responsible for collecting and paying over FDP’s employment taxes. From 1998 through 2014, FDP accrued employment tax liabilities of more than $5 million. Harper withheld these taxes from FDP employees’ wages, but did not pay the taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In over 15 years, Harper only filed one employment tax return with the IRS. DOJ

June 29, 2018

A former CEO of a software company in Sterling, Virginia, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the government by failing to pay over employment taxes announced the Justice Department’s Tax Division. According to court documents, Robert Lewis was the CEO of Enterworks, Inc., a software company in Sterling, Virginia. From January 2011 to February 2013, Lewis conspired with Kristie McDonald, Enterworks’ Vice President of Finance and Administration, to defraud the United States by failing to pay over to the IRS more than $1.8 million in payroll taxes withheld from employee paychecks. As part of their scheme, Lewis and McDonald circumvented the company’s normal payroll and accounting procedures by paying some employees with manual paychecks. The employees still received the correct pay after withholdings, but by bypassing the accounting system, Lewis and McDonald were able to hide the fact that the withholdings were not being paid over to the IRS. DOJ

April 3, 2018

John Anderson Rankin, who owned a software company and a number of restaurant and entertainment businesses in Circleville, Ohio, was sentenced to five months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $7.1 million for failure to account for and pay over employment taxes to the IRS and other tax charges.  DOJ

February 15, 2018

A Massachusetts temporary employment agency operator pleaded guilty in Boston federal district court to an indictment charging him with conspiring to defraud the government, failing to pay over employment taxes and obstructing the internal revenue laws. According to the indictment and statements provided in Court, Tien Chau ran an employment agency that provided temporary labor to businesses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The agency operated under at least four different names: Central Boston Staffing Services, Metro Boston Staffing Services, General Staffing Inc. and Kim’s Staffing Inc. Chau and others used nominees to conceal their ownership of the business. From 2006 through 2011, Chau and others conspired to conceal the agency’s total number of employees from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to lower the staffing agencies’ employment tax liabilities. Chau attempted to hide the size of their workforce from the IRS by paying most of the employees cash under the table and filing false employment tax returns that both underreported the number of employees and omitted wages paid in cash. Chau and others in the conspiracy allegedly cashed over $11 million in client checks at a check cashing facility in Worcester and used the staffing agency’s site supervisors, office manager and drivers to pay the employees in cash. DOJ

January 24, 2018

A Las Vegas, Nevada, business owner was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for evading payment of employment taxes and penalties. Maria Larkin, 55, was convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury in Las Vegas in June. According to the evidence presented at trial, Larkin owned and operated Five Star Home Health Care Inc. (Five Star). Larkin was responsible for collecting and paying over income, social security, and Medicare tax withheld from her employees’ wages. From 2004 through 2009, Larkin did not pay over to the Internal Revenue Service the employment taxes she withheld. As a result, the IRS assessed trust fund recovery penalties (TFRPs) against Larkin for these years, which made her personally liable for the unpaid employment taxes. Larkin concealed her assets and income to evade paying the TFRPs and to obstruct the IRS’s efforts to collect the outstanding taxes. She lied to the IRS regarding her ability to pay, changed the name of her business, placed her business in the name of a nominee, had her employees cash checks for her, and bought a home in the name of a nominee. In total, Larkin evaded more than $1.6 million in taxes. DOJ
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