Colorado Businessman Indicted for Employment Tax Fraud | OPA

A federal grand jury in Denver, Colorado, returned an indictment charging a Bow Mar, Colorado, businessman with tax evasion, failing to pay over employment taxes, and failing to file tax returns.

According to the indictment, Frank Stevens owned Stevens & Soldwisch Oil and Gas Properties I LLC (Soldwisch) and Northeastern Energy Corporation (Northeastern). Soldwisch owned an oil producing field in Michigan, and Northeastern employed the workers hired to extract oil from Soldwisch’s field. The indictment alleges that during quarters in 2014 and 2015, Stevens withheld taxes from Northeastern employees, but did not pay those withheld funds over to the IRS. The indictment further alleges that Stevens evaded paying taxes that were assessed against Northeastern and himself personally, by transferring funds out of bank accounts in his and Northeastern’s names. He also allegedly did not file tax returns on behalf of his businesses as required by law. According to the indictment, the IRS had assessed more than $700,000 in penalties against Stevens for outstanding employment taxes. 

Stevens had his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years imprisonment for each of the tax evasion and employment tax counts, and he further faces a maximum of one year in prison on each of the failing to file tax return counts. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigations is investigating the case.

Assistant Chief Yael T. Epstein and Trial Attorneys Peter J. Anthony and Julia M. Rugg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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