Owner of Area Restaurant Sentenced to the Bureau of Prisons and Ordered to Pay Restitution for Crimes Related to COVID-Relief Funds
PEORIA, Ill. – An East Moline, Illinois man, Charles Stoutt, 39, of the 4000 block of 9 ½ Street, was sentenced on March 7, 2023, to 310 days in prison, to be followed by a 1-year term of supervised release, for willful failure to file income tax returns. He was also ordered to pay $181,033 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
During the sentencing hearing, United States Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley considered evidence that Stoutt owned his own furniture delivery business, and that the business generated substantial income from 2016 through 2020. Despite earning income well above the minimum amount requiring that a tax return be filed, Stoutt failed to file tax returns for the tax years 2016 through 2020. As a result, Stoutt failed to pay approximately $181,033 in taxes owed to the United States.
While imposing the sentence, Judge Hawley emphasized the “significant” tax loss to the government, the importance of taxpayers fulfilling their obligation to file a tax return and pay their taxes, and the need to punish those individuals, like the defendant, who willfully fail to comply with their obligations.
“We all suffer the consequences of those who choose to evade their tax obligation.” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris. “The Department of Justice will continue to seek out and prosecute those individuals who cheat, not only the government, but also honest members of our society.”
“Each U.S. citizen has the responsibility to comply with federal tax laws and file accurate and timely tax returns,” said Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Murdock of IRS Criminal Investigation’s St. Louis Field Office. “People who intentionally fail to file those returns are subject to prosecution and must face the appropriate penalties.”
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mehochko represented the government in the prosecution.