Milledgeville Couple Found Guilty Of Tax Fraud
ATLANTA - Kenneth Horner and his wife Kimberly Horner have been found guilty of tax fraud following a three-day jury trial for skimming more than $1.5 million in cash from their business without disclosing the income.
“This jury recognized the defendants’ handling of cash for what it really was: a ploy to avoid disclosing income and paying taxes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.
“In willfully failing to report their total business income to the IRS, the Horners cheated the system and dodged the same basic responsibility that millions of other business owners comply with every year: fairly and honestly reporting their earnings,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Today’s verdict establishes that those who engage in such criminal conduct will be held accountable. The Tax Division is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and vigorously prosecute these offenders.”
“At this time of year, when hard-working citizens are sitting down to prepare their tax returns, it is especially disappointing to see the overt steps some individuals will take to hide their taxable funds from the government,” stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Taxpayers deserve our vigilance in the investigation and prosecution of individuals who willfully underreport their income and evade the payment of their fair share of taxes.”
According to Acting United States 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 that 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. The defendants owe approximately $400,000 in taxes to the IRS for their unreported income.
The defendants were charged with filing false corporate and personal tax returns for the years 2007 and 2008. They were convicted of all four counts charged.
Sentencing for Kenneth Horner, 58, and Kimberly Horner, 53, both of Milledgeville, Georgia, is scheduled for May 6, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr.
This case is being 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 are prosecuting 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 home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.