June 21, 2010
JUDGE SENTENCES OWNER OF EXCLUSIVE TEMPORARIES INC. TO PRISON FOR EVADING EMPLOYMENT TAXES
(HOUSTON) - Priscilla Ann Clues, the owner of Exclusive Temporaries Inc., has been sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the United States of $1,411,975.34, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Clues had previously pleaded guilty to intentionally failing to pay over to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) more than $1 million in employment taxes - the federal income taxes and FICA and Medicare amounts withheld from employee paychecks at Exclusive Temporaries Inc.
According to the plea agreement filed in the record of the case, Clues pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, section 7201, involving the employment taxes of Exclusive Temporaries Inc., for the fourth quarter of 2000. Clues did not file the required quarterly federal employment tax returns, IRS forms 941, for Exclusive Temporaries Inc. for years 1999 through 2002 and for year 2004 and did not pay the required employment taxes for any quarters in those years except for a few partial payments during 1999. The plea agreement further states that Clues filed the required quarterly IRS tax returns for Exclusive Temporaries Inc. for all quarters in 2003 while the corporation was under an employment tax audit by the IRS.
The plea agreement further states that during the civil audit and the criminal investigation, Clues gave IRS agents copies of all of the quarterly IRS employment tax returns purportedly filed for all quarters in years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 and untruthfully claimed that all such returns had been timely filed. Clues also gave IRS agents copies of the front sides of several checks drawn on the corporation’s bank account to the order of the IRS and untruthfully claimed that she had sent these checks to the IRS to pay the employment taxes owed for several of the quarters listed in the indictment. The checks in question were never received by the IRS and were never paid by the corporation’s bank. The plea agreement further states that during the IRS audit, Clues wire-transferred approximately $1.3 million of the corporation’s funds out of the United States in order to avoid paying the employment taxes owed.
“Employees have a right to expect their withheld employment taxes, which fund future benefits, will be paid by their employer,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clarke of the Houston Field Office. “The IRS-Criminal Investigation Division takes this type of offense seriously and will continue its efforts to protect employees by rooting out employers who violate the tax laws.”
Clues, who had been previously released on bond, was immediately remanded to custody. Her 37-month sentence will be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release.
The investigation leading to the charges against Clues was conducted by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Escher.
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