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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Husband and Wife Sentenced for Tax Fraud

ATLANTA - Kenneth Horner and Kimberly Horner have each been sentenced to one year, six months in federal prison following a jury’s guilty verdict in February 2015, on tax fraud charges stemming from the defendants skimming money from their towing business.

“Small business owners should take note of this case,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “Skimming cash from your business account and intentionally failing to report that money to the IRS, as a federal jury concluded these defendants did, is illegal.  Community services and all other benefits of government depend upon citizens paying their fair share of taxes.”

“Businesses are required to honestly report and pay taxes due, and should expect the same of their competitors,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo.  “Those business owners who evade these obligations not only steal from the U.S. Treasury, but gain an unfair competitive advantage, and the department is committed to holding them accountable.”

“IRS Criminal Investigation is sworn to protect the tax system and bring to justice those who steal from the Treasury,” stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge. “In today’s economic environment, it’s more important than ever that the American people feel confident that everyone is paying their fair share. Today’s sentence demonstrates that our largest enforcement program is directed at the portion of American taxpayers, who willfully and intentionally violate their known legal duty of filing and paying their fair share of taxes.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Kenneth and Kimberly Horner owned Topcat Towing and Recovery, Inc. (“Topcat Towing”), a towing business in Lithonia, Georgia.  Between 2005 and 2008, Topcat Towing had an exclusive contract with DeKalb County, Georgia, for all county car tows needed from the south precinct of the county. 

Between 2005 and 2008, the defendants skimmed more than $1.5 million in cash receipts from their towing business and deposited those cash receipts into their personal bank account without disclosing the income to their tax return preparer or on corporate and personal tax returns filed with the IRS. The defendants tried to conceal their cash deposits from the government by “structuring” their deposits, which is the act of splitting up cash deposits so that none of them exceed $10,000, for the purpose of evading a Currency Transaction Report from being filed.

Most financial institutions, including banks, are generally required to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) for cash transactions that exceed $10,000.  CTRs are submitted to the U.S. Department of Treasury.  In 2007 and 2008, the defendants used their unreported cash, in part, to build a custom home in Conyers that was appraised at more than $900,000. 

Kenneth Horner, 59, and Kimberly Horner, 54, both of Milledgville, Georgia, have each been sentenced to one year, six months in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $144,455 to the IRS.  The Horners were found guilty by a jury on February 20, 2015.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

DOJ Criminal Tax Division Trial Attorney Christopher J. Maietta and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. Grimberg prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 7, 2015