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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 22, 2014

Judge Gives Berks County Businessman 46 Month Sentence For Tax Crimes

PHILADELPHIA - Harvey G. Bitler, Sr., 57, of Shillington, PA, was sentenced today to  
46 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $5 million in restitution for failing to pay over to the government income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes withheld from his employees’ paychecks. He was ordered to surrender October 10, 2014, to begin serving his sentence.

Bitler was the owner of Big H Farms and BH Farms in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Big H Farms provided labor for mushroom growing facilities and BH Farms employed salaried employees associated with the operation and management of Big H Farms. The companies withheld Medicare and Social Security taxes (FICA taxes) and income taxes from their employees’ paychecks but, between 2007 and 2012, Big H made no payments to the Internal Revenue Service of these withheld taxes. Between 2008 and 2012, BH Farms also failed to pay over all the taxes withheld in the first quarter of 2008, and made no payments to the Internal Revenue Service for the remaining quarters of those years. In total, for these periods, Bitler withheld but failed to pay a total of $4,552,486.71.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl ordered restitution to the IRS, including interest, in the amount of $5,078,897.06 million, a $100 special assessment, and three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations with the assistance of revenue agents and revenue officers with the Small Business and Self-Employed Division of the Internal Revenue Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Albert S. Glenn.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

Updated December 15, 2014