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Justice News

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

Friday, February 15, 2019

Former Owner of Electrical Construction Company Pleads Guilty to Felony Tax Charge

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on February 8, 2019, Susan Wenszell (57) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to account for and pay federal payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7202. 

According to documents filed in court, Wenszell was the president and owner of J. Wenszell Enterprises Inc., an outdoor electrical construction company formed by Wenszell’s husband and his brother. The payroll taxes in question consisted of federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes withheld from the wages of employees of J. Wenszell Enterprises.

From the second quarter of 2012 through the fourth quarter of 2015, Wenszell withheld more than $1.2 million from employee wages but paid only $13,966.88 to the IRS.  In addition, during the years 2010 - 2011, Wenszell withheld and failed to pay an additional $394,000. Wenszell also failed to pay the employer's share (or "matching share") of payroll taxes during the years 2010-2015, which totaled almost $530,000. Throughout this period, Wenszell failed to file any quarterly payroll tax returns with the IRS.

During the years 2012-2015, despite paying almost none of the required payroll taxes, Susan Wenszell and her husband withdrew more than $1.1 million from their business to pay personal expenses.

Wenszell faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2019.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Jacobs.

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Updated February 15, 2019