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Press Release

Pennsylvania Owners of Landscape and Excavation Firm Charged with Conspiring to Defraud the IRS and Employment Tax Crimes

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal grand jury in Philadelphia returned an indictment charging a Pennsylvania man and woman with conspiring to defraud the IRS and other tax crimes, including failing to pay employment taxes to the IRS.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed today, from approximately October 2013 through December 2021, Theodore Shearba and Jennifer Cemini, both of Perkiomenville, owned and operated a landscaping and excavation business and attempted to defraud the IRS by (1) not reporting the income they received from the business, (2) using business funds to pay for personal expenditures, (3) not paying employment taxes, including the income tax withheld from employees’ paychecks and Social Security and Medicare taxes and (4) changing business names and concealing business income to thwart IRS efforts to collect the unpaid employment taxes. It is also alleged that Shearba did not file individual income tax returns for years 2019 through 2021.

If convicted, Shearba and Cemini each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and each employment tax count. Shearba also faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison for each count of failing to file a tax return. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Assistant Chief Thomas F. Koelbl and Trial Attorney George Meggali of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated March 13, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-279