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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Former Operators of Michigan Adult Foster Care Homes Sentenced for Income and Employment Tax Crimes

The owners and operators of multiple Michigan adult foster care homes were sentenced today for federal tax crimes. Jeremiah Cheff was sentenced to 27 months in prison, and Nicolette Cheff was sentenced to two years of probation, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan.

According to court documents and the evidence presented at trial, Jeremiah and Nicolette Cheff (“the Cheffs”) owned and controlled the financial and business operations of 16 foster care homes that cared for individuals with mental illnesses and developmental and physical disabilities.  From September 2010 through September 2014, the Cheffs withheld payroll taxes from employees’ paychecks, but failed to timely file payroll tax returns and pay over the withheld funds to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Jeremiah Cheff also failed to file several individual income tax returns and, when the IRS attempted to collect unpaid payroll taxes, he sent the IRS a false financial instrument claiming to be worth $80,000 and falsely claimed to a revenue officer that he had paid the taxes due.

On April 11, 2017, Nicolette Cheff pleaded guilty to failing to file an Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and failing to file an Individual Income Tax Return.

On May 20, 2019, a jury found Jeremiah Cheff guilty of 60 counts of willfully failing to account for and pay over payroll taxes. He was also convicted of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS, and failing to timely file his 2013 through 2015 individual income tax returns.

In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, United States District Judge Linda V. Parker ordered Jeremiah Cheff to serve two years of supervised release, and ordered both to pay restitution in the amount of $199,647 to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Schneider commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Jeffrey A. McLellan and Carl F. Brooker, IV, of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Press Release Number: 
19-906
Updated August 28, 2019