Hickman Couple Sentenced for Failing to Pay Federal Taxes
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg and Sybil Smith, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation announced that Michael and Laurie Russell, of Hickman, Nebraska, were sentenced in Lincoln, Nebraska, by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard, for failing to pay employment taxes in 2006. Michael Russell was sentenced to 16 months in prison, followed by a 3 year term of supervised release. Laurie Russell was sentenced to 6 months in prison, followed by 6 months of house arrest as a condition of 3 years of supervised release. The Russells were also ordered to pay restitution, jointly, to the Internal Revenue Service, in the amount of $311,486.21.
The Russells jointly owned and operated a window installation business, North Country Windows. In 2006 they were withholding income and FICA taxes from employee paychecks, but paid none of it to the IRS. Despite failing to make any payments to the IRS, the Russells lived a comfortable lifestyle. The Russells had the financial ability to pay the taxes, and their failure to do so was willful.
“Business owners have a responsibility to withhold income taxes for employees and remit those taxes to the Internal Revenue Service,” said Sybil Smith, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We are committed to pursuing those who violate the employment tax laws.”This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.