Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Dogfighting Conspiracy - Six Other Defendants Involved in the Animal Fighting Venture Have Already Been Convicted
BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced CHARLES A. LANPHIER, age 69, of Lafayette, Louisiana, to 4 years in federal prison for his role in a lengthy employment tax scheme that defrauded the United States Treasury out of nearly $6 million. LANPHIER was immediately remanded into custody to begin serving his sentence. Following his release from prison, LANPHIER will be required to serve a 2-year term of supervised release. LANPHIER was also ordered to make restitution to the United States in the amount of $5,981,405.
On December 1, 2014, LANPHIER pled guilty to failing to truthfully account for and pay over taxes, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7202. As LANPHIER admitted at the time, at all times relevant to the investigation, he owned and controlled Regional Healthcare, LLC (“Regional”), a health care company with operations throughout Louisiana and Florida. As he withheld employment tax contributions from his employees, however, LANPHIER failed to file quarterly employment tax returns and failed to forward the taxes he had collected to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). As LANPHIER previously admitted, his scheme lasted from 2008 through 2011 and caused a loss of more than $2.5 million. At today’s sentencing, the Court found that the defendant’s relevant conduct stretched back to 2005 and caused a loss of more than $5.9 million.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green stated: “My office is dedicated to working with the IRS-CI to pursue those who engage in complex financial crimes regardless of whether they work in the mail room or the corner office. Honest business owners deserve a level playing field, not one in which the corrupt get rich without consequence. My hope is that today’s sentence will illustrate the harsh reality awaiting those who defraud the taxpayers.”
Jerome R. McDuffie, Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation, stated, “We are pleased with the sentence handed down by the Court in this matter. Charles Lanphier willfully failed to pay over employment taxes withheld from employee wages. He used his business, Regional Healthcare, to commit a fraud that ultimately resulted in the loss of tax revenue to the United States government and the loss of future social security and Medicare benefits for the affected employees. It is especially important to all of the hardworking taxpayers that Mr. Lanphier was held accountable for the widespread harm he caused.”
This matter is being handled by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the New Orleans Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alan A. Stevens, who serves as a Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division.