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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Garrettsville executive faces tax charges

A 10-count indictment was filed charging a Garrettsville executive with withholding nearly $250,000 from his employees’ paychecks but not paying the taxes over to the government, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigations, Cincinnati Field Office.

Jonathan M. Lawrence, 57, was indicted on 10 counts of failure to truthfully account for and pay over employment taxes.

“The conduct described in this indictment is no different than theft,” Dettelbach said.

“Corporate executive and business owners have a significant responsibility to withhold income taxes for their employees and then remit those taxes to the IRS,” Enstrom said. “Those who fail to do so to gain a competitive advantage will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Lawrence served as president and chief executive officer of Laurenco Systems of Ohio LLC, a company he established in 2006 with an office in Leavittsburg, Ohio. As the person with control of the company’s finances, payroll and tax liabilities, Lawrence was responsible for withholding income tax from employees and paying that money to the IRS, according to the indictment.

For 2008 through 2010 and parts of 2011, Lawrence withheld payroll taxes from the company’s employees but did not pay the money to the IRS. The total amount withheld but not paid was approximately $228,482, according to the indictment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca  Lutzko following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

 An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Updated February 4, 2016