Justice News

Department of Justice
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Owner of Virginia Auto Repair Shop Indicted for Employment Tax Fraud

The owner of a Virginia auto repair shop was indicted for failing to account for and pay over employment taxes, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia.   


According to the indictment, Michael Ragsdale resided in Ashburn, Virginia, and owned and operated Foreign Service Auto (FSA), an auto repair business located in McLean, Virginia.  The indictment alleges that Ragsdale had decision-making authority over the business’s activities and controlled the business’s finances.  He was allegedly responsible for withholding employment taxes from FSA’s employees, paying the taxes over to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and filing its employment tax returns.  According to the indictment, from approximately the end of 2011 through 2014, Ragsdale did not file employment tax returns for FSA and did not pay approximately $112,000 in employment taxes. 


If convicted, Ragsdale faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count of failing to collect, account for and pay over employment taxes.  He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.


An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Boente commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Melanie Smith of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Burke, who are prosecuting this case.


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

Press Release Number: 
Updated January 11, 2018