WASHINGTON – A Great Falls, Montana, businessman pleaded guilty today to employment tax fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme for the District of Montana.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Trennis Baer owned and operated Baer Construction based in Great Falls, Montana. Beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2018, Baer did not file quarterly employment tax returns, nor did he pay employment taxes withheld from his employees’ wages to the IRS. Baer did not meet these legal requirements, despite the fact the company’s outside accountant from at least 2013 on prepared the appropriate employment tax returns and calculated the employment taxes due. In addition to not complying with his employment tax obligations, Baer willfully did not file personal income tax returns for the years 2001 to 2006, 2008, and 2010 to 2018. The total tax loss to the IRS from Baer’s conduct is more than $1.5 million.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris scheduled sentencing for Jan. 28, 2021. At sentencing, Baer faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Baer also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Alme commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Matthew Hoffman and Eric Taffet of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.