Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Couple Operating Alabama Construction Company Sentenced to Prison for Payroll Tax Fraud

Used Employee Withholdings on Football Season Tickets and other Personal Expenses

A Crane Hill, Alabama, husband and wife were sentenced to 20 months collectively in prison yesterday for failing to pay over payroll taxes, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town for the Northern District of Alabama.

U.S. District Judge Liles C. Burke sentenced Walter Michael Williams to 13 months in prison and Amy Butler Williams to seven months in prison for failing to pay over payroll taxes.  According to court documents and information provided to the court, Walter Michael Williams and Amy Butler Williams operated Dixie Steel Erectors (DSE), a commercial construction business in Hanceville, Alabama. Walter Michael Williams, DSE’s president and owner, and Amy Williams, DSE’s bookkeeper and office manager, were responsible for withholding and paying over DSE’s payroll taxes. During 2012 and 2013, DSE accrued payroll tax liabilities and the Williamses withheld those taxes from the pay of the business’s employees, but willfully failed to pay the withheld funds to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Instead, the Williamses caused DSE to pay for a number of their personal expenses, including mortgages, alimony, and football season tickets. The Williamses also failed to file personal tax returns, and failed to file corporate tax returns for DSE. 

In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, the Williamses were each ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution in the amount of $502,683.23 to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Town commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant United States Attorneys Allison Garnett (formerly of the Tax Division) and Melissa Atwood, who are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Press Release Number: 
19-1144
Updated October 24, 2019