Michigan Woman Convicted of Obstructing The IRS
A federal jury in Flint, Michigan, convicted Gerri Avery today of engaging in a corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Avery obstructed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in its attempts to collect payroll taxes due and owing for Integrated HCS Practice Management (Integrated), a Southfield, Michigan, company, by providing false and misleading information to the IRS Revenue Officer attempting to collect the taxes owed. Integrated, a management services business for healthcare providers, failed to pay payroll taxes due from its employees for the third quarter of 2013, the fourth quarter of 2013, and the first quarter of 2014. Avery, whose duties at Integrated were central to the business’s operations, made statements to the IRS Revenue Officer that attempted to minimize her involvement in and knowledge of the business as well as the involvement of Joseph DeSanto, one of the owners of the business. Avery also told the IRS she did not know how to obtain bank statements and other documents related to the business, despite regularly accessing such records as part of her responsibilities for the company.
In a related case, DeSanto himself has pleaded guilty to failing to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over payroll taxes relating to Integrated and to failure to file his personal tax return for 2013.
United States District Judge Laurie J. Michelson scheduled sentencing for Dec. 4, 2019. Avery faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, in addition to a term of supervised release and restitution.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and William Guappone, who are prosecuting the case, and paralegal Eric Mahoney.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the Division’s website.