Rhinelander Man Sentenced for Tax Crime
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gene R. Wendt, 56, Rhinelander, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to nine months in prison and was fined $10,000 for failure to pay employment taxes. Wendt pleaded guilty to this charge on July 19, 2011.
From 2004 through 2008, Wendt owned and operated Crown Point Classics, Inc. (CPC), a business in Hazelhurst, Wis., that restored antique cars and boats. As the owner of the business, Wendt was responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over employment taxes withheld from the wages of CPC employees. A review of tax records revealed that Wendt failed to pay those taxes, starting with the third quarter of 2004, through the last quarter of 2008. In total, Wendt failed to pay over $223,721 in "trust fund" taxes withheld from the wages of CPC employees.
In a statement to IRS agents, Wendt admitted that he was the sole person responsible for paying over the employment taxes and that he "knew this day was coming."
The charges against Wendt were the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Reinhard.
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