News and Press Releases

South jersey business owner sentenced to 18 months in prison for evading employment taxes

September 28, 2012


TRENTON, N.J. – The owner and operator of New Jersey-based temporary employment agency Tri State Labor Services Inc. (“Tri State”) was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for evading the employment taxes for the business, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Vanna Kem, 42, of Sicklerville, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an Information charging her with one count of tax evasion. Judge Thompson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Despite being the true owner of Tri State, Kem incorporated the business and maintained the corporate bank account in the name of a nominee. From the first quarter of 2006 through the last quarter of 2008, Kem paid Tri State employees more than $1 million in cash wages without withholding employment taxes. She also failed to file IRS 941 forms – Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Returns – in which she was required to report the wages paid to her employees.

As part of her guilty plea, Kem agreed to pay $163,837.47 in restitution to the IRS.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Kem to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution of $163,838.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tino M. Lisella of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.


Defense counsel: Gilbert Scutti Esq., Philadelphia

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