ozark attorney pleads guilty to failing to pay taxes
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Ozark, Mo., attorney pleaded guilty in federal court today to willfully failing to pay both the payroll taxes he deducted from his employees’ paychecks and his personal income taxes.
Michael C. Stoffregen, 51, of Ozark, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of willfully failing to pay over his employees’ payroll taxes to the government and one count of willfully failing to file tax returns.
Stoffregen was the sole owner of The Disability and Elder Law Center (formerly the Law Offices of MC Stoffregen), located in Springfield, Mo. Stoffregen admitted that he deducted and withheld taxes from his employees’ paychecks (including federal income taxes and Social Security and Medicare taxes), but did not pay that money over to the IRS. Stoffregen failed to pay over $12,251 in employment taxes for the years 2009-2011.
Stoffregen also admitted that he willfully failed to file federal individual income tax returns for the years 2008-2011. Since the law office is an S-corporation, all profits (or net losses) are passed on to Stoffregen as the sole shareholder. According to the plea agreement, the law office had total gross profits during this time of $802,720.
Under federal statutes, Stoffregen is subject to a sentence of up to six years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $35,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.