North Suburban Businessman Guilty of Evading More Than $800,000 in State and Federal Income Taxes
CHICAGO — A north suburban businessman who operated a cellular telephone distributorship throughout Illinois and other Midwestern states has pleaded guilty to willfully failing to pay more than $800,000 in personal and corporate income taxes.
JORDAN ECKERLING, the owner of Pagecomm of Illinois Inc., admitted in a plea agreement that from 2008 to 2012 he caused tax losses to the United States and Illinois in the total amount of $806,099. As the sole shareholder and officer of Pagecomm, Eckerling attempted to conceal income by causing the company to issue him “business checks” that he cashed and used for personal expenses, the plea agreement states. Eckerling also caused the company to directly pay a housekeeper to regularly clean Eckerling’s boat and his primary and secondary residences, the plea agreement states. Eckerling also charged personal expenses to Pagecomm’s credit card accounts, including for a family vacation to Cancun, Mexico.
Eckerling, 52, of Highland Park, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of tax evasion. The conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall set sentencing for May 17, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.
The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.
In addition to the tax evasion, Eckerling admitted in his plea agreement that he added a relative to the payroll of Pagecomm and its successor company, PCW Holdings Inc., even though the relative was employed elsewhere and did no work for either company. Eckerling did this so that he could obtain health insurance for his family under the relative’s name instead of his own, thereby concealing that he was an income-earning employee of the companies, the plea agreement states.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri H. Mecklenburg.