Lerma Aquino, the business manager of TGI Friday’s on Guam, was indicted for allegedly under-reporting employee’s tips and service charges and cheating the IRS of money owed to them. It’s alleged that Aquino avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in employment taxes.
Some of the examples in the indictment include: In the fourth quarter of 2010, Aquino reported that her employees received approximately $30,800 in tips when they actually received over $167,000 in tips and service charges. For the first quarter of 2011, the amount of reported tips received was $33,600 instead of the actual amount of $216,600. And again in the second quarter of 2011, the correct amount of tips was $157,000 but reported as only $34,300. In total, the underreporting caused a loss to the United States over $225,000.
Aquino allegedly directed her employees to report a flat $1-$2 an hour as tip income instead of the actual amount early. She also either modified or refused to accept truthful tip reports.
In February, 2016, Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen spoke to the Senate Finance Committee and assured lawmakers that the problem of rehiring employees behind on their taxes, had past conduct or performance problems would be addressed.
But despite these promises, auditors found that the IRS rehired 200 former employees that were terminated for issues ranging from falsifying employment forms, unauthorized use of taxpayer accounts, misuse of email or property, workplace disruption, and violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Four of the rehired employees cheated on their own taxes and another four were found to have improperly accessing taxpayer records. In addition, one employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has recommended to the IRS Human Capital Officer to increase the amount of hiring officials and give them increased access to job candidates’ past performance records and require that the basis for rehiring them be clearly documented.
Anthony Gosha, aka Boo Boo, of Phoenix City, Alabama, was arrested by federal agents in July 2017 on charges of filing fraudulent tax returns, conspiring to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges that Gosha stole over 7,000 ID’s and used those to file phony tax returns with refunds totaling over $19 million.
Some of the ID’s were stolen from an Alabama state agency, and Gosha also used Electronic Filing Identification Numbers in the name of a fake tax prep business in which they used to file the returns.
On those returns, they instructed the IRS to either issue prepaid debit cards or U.S. Treasury checks. Gosha recruited several postal carriers to provide addresses on their mail routes to which the refund checks could be sent. The checks were then cashed at various check cashing businesses in Alabama and Georgia.
If convicted on all charges, Gosha faces up to a maximum of 30 years in prison plus a minimum of 2 years for each count of identity theft, supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.
Commercial fisherman from Alaska, Archie and Roseann Demmert were charged in federal court with four counts of willful failure to pay individual income tax. Information obtained by the court shows a long history of not paying their taxes, going back over 13 years, in which they owed the IRS over $400,000, not including penalties and interest.
The arraignment has not been scheduled yet, but the couple faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison on each count, as well as supervised release, restitution and
DMX, the recording star and actor, whose real name is Earl Simmons, surrendered to federal authorities after being charged with 14 counts of tax-related criminal charges totaling $1.7 million in tax liabilities.
It’s alleged that Simmons avoided using his personal bank accounts, and instead used the accounts of other individuals, including his business manager and lived mostly on cash. According to the indictment, Simmons earnings from 2002 through 2005 went unpaid. Authorities say he listed his income in 2011 and 2012 as “unknown”, when he actually made $353,000 in 2011 and $542,000 in 2012. On his 2013 tax return, he reported earning $10,000 of income when in reality he earned $250,000 that year. In total for the years 2010 to 2015 Simmons earned over $2.3 million.
Simmons appeared on the TV show “Celebrity Couples Therapy” and was paid $125,000, but refused the first installment check as taxes were withheld. He went to the producer of the show and demanded a new check for the full amount, which he got.
If convicted on all counts, Simmons could face a maximum of 44 years in prison, plus monetary penalties and restitution to the IRS.
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