PORTLAND, Ore.—Jeffrey Fitch, 49, of Beaverton, Oregon, was sentenced today to twelve months and one day in federal prison for willfully failing to collect or pay over employment taxes to the IRS, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon also ordered Fitch to pay more than $453,000 in restitution to the IRS.
According to court documents, since 2002, Jeffrey Fitch, an engineer, owned and operated SFA Engineering LLC and SFA Design Group LLC. Between March 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016, Fitch collected federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from his employees’ paychecks and gave them paystubs reflecting the taxes withheld. However, during this time period, Fitch never paid the IRS the amount of tax withheld from his employees nor did he file the appropriate employer tax returns. In addition, Fitch also failed to pay his employer’s share of payroll taxes due to the IRS.
Fitch used a large portion of the withheld funds to pay for his and his family’s personal expenses. In total, Fitch owed the IRS $453,879.40, which he paid just prior to sentencing.
On January 15, 2020, Fitch was charged by criminal information with one count of failing to collect or pay over employment taxes. On February 26, 2020, he pleaded guilty to the same charge.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.