Scranton Funeral Home Director Charged With Tax Evasion
SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Scranton funeral home director, Al T. Hughes, age 58, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was indicted on January 17, 2017, by a federal grand jury for federal income tax evasion.
The indictment was unsealed following Hughes’s arraignment on January 19, 2017, before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick. Hughes was released on his own recognizance.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the five count indictment alleges that Hughes diverted approximately $1.25 million in corporate receipts to his personal benefit, and failed to report the diverted receipts as income on his 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 federal tax returns resulting in a substantial tax due and owing the Internal Revenue Service. It also alleges that he cashed hundreds of customer checks, intended for payment of funeral home services, at various financial institutions, including a check cashing service in Scranton.
Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Gregory Floyd said, “The license to run a business is not a license to avoid paying taxes. Al T. Hughes’s misconduct of hiding income cheated all Americans, since we all pay our fair share for the government services and protections that we enjoy.”
The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service – Scranton Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for each count of the indictment is five years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, restitution, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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