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Press Release

Texas Business Owner Sentenced for Evading Income Tax

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Texas man was sentenced today to 37 months in prison, three years of supervised release and to pay $529,551 in restitution to the United States for evading taxes on income he earned from his business.

According to court documents, John L. Petrone owned and operated a business that sold an herbal extract known as “kratom,” along with other related products. Petrone did not file individual income tax returns for 2014 through 2019, nor did he pay income taxes for those years, despite earning hundreds of thousands of dollars from his business. During that time period, Petrone attempted to evade his income taxes by opting not to withhold federal taxes from his paychecks, operating the business under different names, dealing in cash, using business bank accounts to pay for personal expenses and lying to the IRS during an audit. In addition, Petrone did not pay his business’s employment taxes. 

Through his actions, Petrone caused a tax loss to the IRS of over $529,000. 

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

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Assistant Chief David Zisserson and Trial Attorney Andres Chinchilla of the Tax Division prosecuted the case, with assistance and support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

Updated June 26, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-818