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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Etters Couple Sentenced On Federal Tax Evasion And Bribery Charges

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Mayra Garces, age 47 and Ivan Garces, age 45, Etters, Pennsylvania, were sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg on charges involving tax evasion and bribery.

     U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III sentenced Ivan Garces to 18 months’ imprisonment, a $7,700 fine and a term of supervised release of one year.  The Court sentenced Mayra Garces to 12 months plus one day of imprisonment, a $7,700 fine and a term of supervised release of one year.   

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, on September 27, 2011, the Garces offered to pay a Revenue Agent, who was conducting an audit, $50,000 if the agent would reduce their tax liability and not expand the audit to include the years before and after the current audit.  On November 10, 2011, during an undercover operation, the couple paid the Revenue Agent $50,000 in cash.

     A review of the couples’ business records established that the couple intentionally failed to report $1,091,267 in income for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. 

     The Garces pleaded guilty to tax evasion and bribery of a public official in May 2013.  The couple has paid the IRS a total of $843,866.47 in penalties, back taxes and interest.  The $50,000 used for the bribe was relinquished to the United States Treasury.    

     “Tax evasion is not a victimless crime,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Akeia Conner. “We all pay when others swindle the government.  This sentence should send a clear message: schemes to evade the payment of taxes are a violation of the Federal Tax laws and the consequences of such schemes can and will result in jail time. Honest taxpayers have been reassured today that no one is above the law--especially when the integrity of tax administration is at stake.”

     Robert Geary, TIGTA Special Agent in Charge, stated “today’s sentence also sends a clear and convincing message that those individuals who use bribery as a criminal vehicle to escape their just federal tax obligation face substantial criminal and financial penalties.  TIGTA stands in close partnership with the U.S Attorney's Office to identify, thoroughly investigate, and prosecute such criminal conduct.”

     This case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. Prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom.

Updated April 9, 2015