May 22, 2001
Contact: Richard F. Clippard
United States Attorney
Assistant U. S. Attorney
FRANKLIN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL TAX AND PENSION CHARGES
NASHVILLE, TN – May 21, 2001 – Richard F. Clippard, U. S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, announced that George David George, age 46, who resides at 57 Banwell Park, Franklin, Tennessee, pled guilty today to one count of failing to pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and to one count of embezzlement of pension funds.
George admitted before U. S. District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., that he withheld $104,090.18 in federal taxes from his employees’ paychecks for the quarter ended September 30, 1996, but intentionally failed to pay that amount to the IRS. George also admitted that he embezzled $4,947.00 from an employee benefit plan, causing claims filed by some of his employees to be denied by the insurance provider.
George was indicted February 22 and charged with failing to pay $317,689.27 in employment taxes to the IRS during five quarters in 1995 and 1996. The funds were withheld from his employees at Video Home Shopping, Inc. (VHS, Inc.), also known as Video Home Shopping Network, Inc. George resided in Hendersonville, Tennessee at that time.
According to a statement read in court today by IRS Special Agent Jo Lynch, George used company funds to maintain a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family. He purchase a 1996 BMW and a 1996 Nissan 300 ZX for his step-daughters and leased a Lexus for his wife. George also made house payments and purchased a boat using company funds.
Special Agent Lynch also stated that George contacted numerous persons about investing in his company and that one person invested over $1 million in VHS, Inc. George is to be sentenced August 13.
IRS Criminal Investigation and the Department of Labor, Pension, and Welfare Benefit Administration investigated this case. Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert Washko prosecuted the case for the government.