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Carrie A. Hooge Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 11, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on February 11, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, CARRIE A. HOOGE, a 57-year-old resident of Hamilton, pled guilty to failure to pay tax. A sentencing date will be set later. She is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

CARRIE HOOGE and her husband owned BCH, Inc., which was a concrete business. HOOGE was the secretary/treasurer and handled all tax matters for the business.

A bookkeeper was hired in early 2003 for BCH. The bookkeeper prepared BCH's 941 Forms for the first three quarters of 2003. HOOGE signed and filed all three returns. However, HOOGE only made one timely deposit, and that was for the third quarter. When she realized the estimated employment taxes were not being timely deposited, the bookkeeper repeatedly told HOOGE to make the deposits.

Around the fall of 2003, HOOGE invited the bookkeeper to a meeting at which a presenter using the name Don Quixote outlined ways to avoid paying taxes. The bookkeeper informed HOOGE that the presenter was actually advocating tax fraud. The bookkeeper then stopped working for BCH, which was prior to completing the fourth quarter 2003 Form 941.

In 2004, the IRS sent a Notice of intent to Levy for failure to pay the outstanding balance. In 2005, after subsequent mailings informing HOOGE of the tax liability and related interest and penalties, HOOGE submitted two bad checks for over $50,000 more than the outstanding liability, from an account that was open only one month the previous year and had only ever had a zero balance. The payment included the statement "accepted for accessed values Carrie Hooge authorized representative." The IRS tried to cash the checks and when they bounced, the IRS returned them with instructions to make the payment via certified check, cashier's check or money order. The IRS did not issue a refund. HOOGE then resubmitted the same bad checks to the IRS. Again, no improper refund issued.

In 2009, BCH filed several tax returns, including a 941 for the fourth quarter of 2003 showing wages in the amount of $7,083 on which was reported withholding of federal income taxes of $1,850 and FICA taxes of $1,083 due and owing. Neither BCH nor HOOGE has ever paid the taxes.

HOOGE knew that she was obligated to pay the employment taxes for BCH for the fourth quarter of 2003, but she did not do so.

HOOGE faces possible penalties of 1 year in prison, a $25,000 fine and 1 year supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.

 

 

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