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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Independent Contractor Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

Unsuccessfully Sought to Thwart IRS Collection Efforts

A Tulsa man, John D. Petrig, 49, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of tax evasion in U.S. District Court, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Trent Shores of the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell accepted Petrig’s guilty plea and released the defendant on bond pending sentencing on May 7, 2019. 

“The Department of Justice prosecutes tax evaders to hold them accountable for their criminal conduct and to ensure that the tax system is fairly enforced throughout the nation,” stated Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman.

 “The federal income tax system is based upon the compliance of the taxpaying citizens of this nation. When an individual, such as Mr. Petrig, decides to shirk his responsibility to pay what he owes, then other law-abiding citizens end up shouldering the burden,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Mr. Petrig’s criminal acts cost taxpayers not only the loss of the unpaid taxes, but also the additional expense for investigating and prosecuting his criminal behavior.”

According to court documents, from 2000 to 2012, Petrig worked for a company as an independent contractor installing ATM machines inside casinos. The company paid him commissions based on the number of transactions executed at the ATMs. In 2012, Petrig late-filed his 2005 tax return, reporting an income of $394,317; however, he did not pay the $110,372 in taxes that he owed. Instead, from January 2012 to December 2012, Petrig attempted to evade payment of the $110,372.  When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent a levy to Petrig’s employer directing that Petrig’s commission payments be forwarded to the IRS to pay his tax debt, Petrig sought to thwart this levy by sending a letter to his employer instructing that his future commissions be paid to a fictitious corporation.

Petrig faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and up to three years supervised release.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Shores commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division Assistant Chief / Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Kameros and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A.S. Régal and Charles M. McLoughlin, who are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Press Release Number: 
19-78
Updated February 6, 2019