PROVIDENCE – The owner of two Rhode Island businesses that supply steel and iron to construction sites today admitted that over a period of two years he intentionally failed to turn over to the IRS in excess of $570,000 in employment taxes withheld from his employees. Instead, he admitted, he used the funds to finance personal expenditures such as rent payments on a luxury home and online dating services.
Steven M. Allard, 58, of North Scituate, owner and operator of BR Steel Corporation in Burrillville and Greystone Iron Corporation in Smithfield, admitted to the court that from at least 2017 through 2018, he failed to turn over to the IRS federal employment taxes and FICA payments withheld from his employees, totaling in excess of $570,000. According to court documents, Allard used the money to pay for personal expenditures such as the purchase of over $216,000 in “credits” to an online dating website, RussianBrides.com, and $93,000 in rent payments for a luxury home in Scituate.
BR Steel and Greystone Iron are steel erection companies specializing in major construction projects such as shopping malls and school buildings. BR Steel employs between 45 and 55 employees. Greystone Iron employs between 75 and 85 employees.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Allard pleaded guilty to willful failure to collect or pay over taxes, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Joleen Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta, and Carol S. Hamilton, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Today’s conviction marks the third conviction of Allard in federal court in Providence.
In 2009 Allard pleaded guilty to tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud, and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Allard admitted to the court that from March 2005 to July 2006, he diverted for his and his wife’s personal use approximately $1.6 million dollars due the IRS in employment taxes. He also admitted to making false statements about real estate holdings in a bankruptcy filing in 2005.
Prior to his 2009 conviction, Allard was found guilty by a jury at trial of accepting kickbacks from public employees, and was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison.
Steven Allard is scheduled to be sentenced in this latest matter on November 30, 2020. Willful failure to collect or pay over taxes is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 5 years in federal prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
The matter was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, FBI, and U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration.