LANSING BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO OBSTRUCTING THE IRS BY EVADING PAYMENT AND FALSIFYING QUARTERLY TAX RETURNS TOTALLING OVER $250,000.00
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today that George Adatsi, age 49, of Lansing, Michigan, pled guilty to a felony tax offense of obstructing the IRS. U.S. Attorney Miles was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division. Adatsi appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody in Grand Rapids to enter his guilty plea.
Adatsi owned two companies, Health Staffers, Inc. (HSI) and Health Staffers of Michigan, Inc. (HSMI) that employed nurses and home health aides who provided health care services in private homes and nursing homes. Adatsi admitted that he did not forward to the IRS $121,214 of the Social Security and Medicare taxes (commonly referred to as “FICA taxes”) he had withheld from the employees of HSI from 2001 through 2003. He also admitted that he later intentionally hid assets from the IRS to avoid payment of this amount. Adatsi further admitted that from 2004 through 2008 he filed false quarterly federal tax returns that under reported HSMI’s gross wages paid to its employees and, consequently, under reported both the income taxes and FICA taxes withheld from the HSMI employees. Adatsi acknowledged that the total of the underreported employment taxes was an additional $129,929.
“Adatsi grossly under reported the wages of his employees. He hid assets from the IRS and claimed he did not have the money to pay the taxes which he had already collected from his employees,” said Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez. “The law is clear on the issue of employers’ responsibility to accurately report and forward withholding taxes and to deal honestly with the IRS.”
A sentencing hearing will be set by U. S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff. The maximum penalty for obstructing the IRS is not more than three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This IRS investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Beckering prosecuted it.