Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Owners of Greensboro Temporary Staffing Firms Plead Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud

Continued Fraud Even After Prison Sentence

Two Greensboro, North Carolina, business owners pleaded guilty today to failing to pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.

According to documents and information provided to the court, Rebecca Adams, 57, and her daughter Elizabeth Wood, 40, operated a temporary staffing business in Greensboro that changed names twice, even though it did not otherwise change its actual business operations. Adams and Wood withheld taxes from employees’ paychecks but did not pay those taxes over to the IRS. 

In 2015, Wood began serving a criminal sentence in North Carolina after pleading guilty to embezzling employee state tax withholdings that were due to the State. During Wood’s period of incarceration, her mother, Adams, withheld taxes from employees’ paychecks, but did not pay those taxes over to the IRS. Adams also did not file the required quarterly payroll tax return. Upon being released from prison in 2015, Wood resumed her role at the staffing business and continued to withhold taxes from employees’ paychecks, but again did not pay the taxes over to the IRS.

U.S. Senior District Judge N. Carlton Tilley Jr., scheduled Adams’s sentencing for May 22, 2020, and Wood’s sentencing for May 29, 2020.  They each face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. As part of their plea agreements, the defendants have agreed to pay restitution to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin thanked agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Chut and Trial Attorney Kevin Schneider of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting 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: 
20-139
Updated February 5, 2020