Owners of Worcester Payroll Company Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Fraud
BOSTON – The co-owners and former owner of a payroll company in Worcester were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Worcester for defrauding the IRS and tax evasion. One of the co-owners was also sentenced for embezzling client and employee funds.
William McCullough, 73, of Westborough, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to one year and one day in prison, three years of supervised release and restitution of $1,825,933. In September 2015, he pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, four counts of making false statements in tax returns, four counts of tax evasion, and one count of wire fraud. Robert McCullough, 43, also of Westborough, the son of William McCullough, was sentenced by Judge Hillman to eight months in prison and three years of supervised release. He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and four counts of tax evasion. Gary Davis, 74, of Jupiter, Fla., was sentenced to six months in prison and three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and three counts of tax evasion.
The McCulloughs are co-owners of Harpers Data Services, a payroll company in Worcester. William McCullough was the treasurer and his son, Robert, is the president. Gary Davis was a former owner and president of Harpers until his retirement in 2010.
Beginning around 2006, William and Robert McCullough operated two corporate bank accounts at Webster Five Cents Savings Bank. From 2007 to 2012, they funneled approximately $11 million of taxable income into these accounts. The McCulloughs kept these accounts off of the corporation’s books and concealed their existence from the corporate accountant. Thus, the income deposited into these accounts was not reported to the IRS on the corporation’s annual tax returns. As a result, the corporation failed to pay approximately $3.78 million in taxes.
Also during that time, William McCullough wrote checks totaling approximately $4.7 million from one of the Webster Five corporate accounts to himself, Robert McCullough, and Gary Davis. In addition, from 2007 to 2011, William McCullough wrote bonus and dividend checks from Harpers totaling approximately $2.7 million to himself, Robert McCullough, and Gary Davis. William McCullough ensured that none of this income appeared on the appropriate tax reporting forms, and as a result, the defendants failed to pay approximately $1.7 million in taxes from 2007 through 2011.
In a separate case, William McCullough was sentenced for committing wire fraud. From 2009 through 2011, Harpers maintained client trust accounts and a client tax account. These accounts contained client funds, which were to be used to pay employees’ paychecks and employees’ federal and state taxes. From 2009 through 2011, William McCullough took approximately $1 million from the client trust accounts and deposited it into a Harpers account. In 2010, he took $750,000 from the client tax account and deposited it into a Harpers account. At the time William McCullough took this money, the funds belonged solely to the clients of Harpers Data Services. McCullough’s fraud resulted in a theft of approximately $1.8 million dollars.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karin M. Bell, Chief of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.