Virginia Pharmacist Indicted For Employment Tax Fraud
A federal grand jury sitting in the Western District of Virginia returned an indictment today charging a Collinsville, Virginia pharmacist with 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 Thomas T. Cullen for the Western District of Virginia.
According to the indictment, Jerry R. Harper, Jr., owned and operated Family Discount Pharmacy, Inc. (FDP) in Stanleytown, Virginia, with multiple locations in Stuart, Rocky Mount, Chatham, and Brosville, Virginia. As owner of FDP, Harper was allegedly responsible for collecting and paying over FDP’s employment taxes. The indictment charges that during 2011 to 2014, FDP accrued employment tax liabilities of more than $1.2 million and that Harper withheld those taxes from FDP employees’ wages. He then allegedly failed to fully pay over the amounts withheld to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Instead of providing the employment taxes to the IRS, Harper allegedly caused FDP to pay his personal expenses, including investments in the stock market, payments for his son’s pharmacy school tuition, purchases of real property in Virginia and North Carolina, and purchases of automobiles. The indictment further alleges that in over 15 years Harper only filed one employment tax return with the IRS.
If convicted, Harper faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison on each charge. In addition, he faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Cullen commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorney Daniel McGraw and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlene Day, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.