RIDGEFIELD HORSE FARM OWNER
SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR TAX EVASION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JULIANA COLE WEBER, 64, of Ridgefield, was sentenced yesterday, March 6, by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to four months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, the first six months of which must be served in home confinement. WEBER also was ordered to pay a fine of $5000. On September 26, 2011, WEBER pleaded guilty to one count tax evasion and one count of failure to collect and pay tax.
According to court documents and statements made in court, WEBER owned and operated Stepping Stone Farm, Inc., in Ridgefield, a horse farm offering a range of services that included riding lessons, summer camps, birthday parties, horse-boarding, and hosting horse shows. During the tax years 2001 through 2006, WEBER filed personal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service that under reported her taxable federal income by a total of more than $1.1 million, resulting in a failure to pay more than $389,000 in personal income taxes due on that unreported income. In addition, during the 2005 and 2006 tax years, WEBER failed to collect and pay to the IRS federal income tax withholding and FICA taxes that were owed on Stepping Stone Farm's employee payroll, for a total, additional tax underpayment of $190,308.24.
With interest and penalties, WEBER’s total tax liability exceeded $1 million.
In addition to her criminal prosecution, WEBER has entered into a stipulated civil forfeiture agreement in which she has forfeited to the federal government $1 million that was seized from a safe deposit box during the course of the investigation. An additional $333,755.58 that was seized from the safe deposit box, and $31,870.05 in cash that was seized from two safes at the Stepping Stone Farm, has been credited against WEBER’s civil tax liability.
Prior to the sentencing, WEBER made additional payments of approximately $625,000 toward her tax liability.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Henry K. Kopel.
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