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Press Release

Owner of Oregon Payroll Services Company Sentenced to More Than Two Years in Prison for Employment Tax Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Did Not Pay IRS More than $22.6 Million in Payroll Taxes

An Oregon man was sentenced yesterday to 27 months in prison for willfully failing to pay employment taxes owed to the IRS.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Robert Kohnle, of Lake Oswego, was the president, secretary and chief executive officer of Real Benefits Group Inc. doing business as Aliat. Aliat was a professional employer organization that provided payroll and payroll-related services for its clients. Pursuant to service agreements with its clients, Aliat was responsible for receiving and paying to the IRS the payroll taxes withheld from wages the client businesses paid their employees, including federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2016 through the fourth quarter of 2022, Kohnle received funds from Aliat’s clients that represented payroll tax withholdings, but kept the money rather than pay the IRS, as required by law. Kohnle instead used the money to pay Aliat’s other expenses and creditors, including himself. In total, Kohnle caused a tax loss to the IRS of more than $22.6 million.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut for the District of Oregon ordered Kohnle to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $14,092,693.42 in restitution to the United States.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Natalie K. Wight for the District of Oregon made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Patrick Burns and Regina Jeon of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.

Updated January 9, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-24