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Press Release

North Suburban Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Causing More Than $24 Million in Tax Losses from Fraudulent Tax Schemes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — The bookkeeper for two Chicago-area staffing companies has admitted in federal court that he conspired to defraud the IRS for at least a decade by falsifying corporate tax returns and W-2 forms to reduce the taxes assessed against the companies and their owners.

BARRY POTICHA, 73, of Northbrook, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.  Poticha admitted in a plea agreement that he caused a total federal tax loss of more than $24 million.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Gabriel Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Chicago Field Office.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn E. Malizia.

Poticha admitted that beginning no later than 2000 and continuing through December 19, 2011, he conspired with an independent contractor to falsify information supplied to the IRS in the quarterly Employment Tax Returns (Form 941) filed by the companies, as well as in false W-2 forms the companies provided to their employees and the IRS.  When employees discovered discrepancies in the W-2 forms, Poticha issued letters to conceal the fraud.  This conduct resulted in a federal tax loss of approximately $24,450,609.

In addition to defrauding the IRS for the benefit of the employers and their owners, Poticha also admitted filing false personal income tax returns on his own behalf for tax years 2010 through 2015.  In each of these years, Poticha fraudulently underreported his own income and over-reported his income tax withholding, resulting in a federal tax loss of $341,621 and a state tax loss of $32,604.

The conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison.  The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman set sentencing for Aug. 14, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.

Updated April 17, 2018

Financial Fraud