A federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, returned an indictment on April 1, 2021, charging a Springfield man with tax evasion and willful failure to file individual income tax returns.
According to the indictment, Jonathan Michael was a mechanic employed by a company engaged in managing the operations of a port in New Jersey. From 2014 through 2018, Michael allegedly earned over $1.6 million in income from all sources, including the port-operating company. In February 2014, as alleged in the indictment, Michael submitted an IRS Form W-4, “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate,” to the port-operating company that falsely claimed he was exempt from federal income tax withholding. The indictment further alleges that Michael willfully did not file federal individual income tax returns for 2014 through 2018, despite having a legal obligation to do so.
Michael is charged with one count of tax evasion and five counts of willful failure to file tax returns. The defendant made his initial court appearance today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the tax evasion and one year in prison for each failure to file count. 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 and Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig for the District of New Jersey made the announcement.
The IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Michael C. Vasiliadis of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew F. Nikic of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey 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.