News and Press Releases

joplin business owner sentenced for failing to pay
$1.1 million in payroll taxes to iRS

April 18, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., business owner was sentenced in federal court today for failing to pay over to the IRS more than $1.1 million in payroll taxes deducted from his employees' wages over an eight-year period.

Gregory E. Crocker, 44, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Crocker to pay $1,586,024 in restitution (the total of the actual loss of $1,152,550 plus interest).

On Nov. 8, 2011, Crocker pleaded guilty to failing to account for and pay over to the IRS the federal income taxes and Social Security and Medicare taxes deducted from employee paychecks.

Crocker was an owner and the executive officer of Ozark Memorial Park, Inc., a cemetery and marketer of pre-need funeral services in Joplin. Crocker admitted that, for the quarters ending March 31, 2002, through March 31, 2010, he failed to pay over payroll taxes to the IRS, and to file employer's federal quarterly income tax returns. The total tax harm Crocker caused is $1,152,550.

Crocker admitted that he acted willfully, meaning that he intentionally violated a known legal duty. Crocker knew that he had a legal duty to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over to the IRS the payroll taxes of Ozark Memorial Park's employees.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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