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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Man who Operated Reno Consulting Firm Pleads Guilty to Failure to Pay $100,000 in Employment Taxes to IRS

    RENO, Nev. – Michael Stickler, 54, of Reno, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks to one count of willful failure to collect or pay employment and Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes to the IRS, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.

            According to Stickler’s plea agreement, he owned and operated a company in Reno called Faith Based Solutions from 1999 to 2009.  Stickler collected and withheld employment and FICA taxes from his employees’ wages, but failed to pay them over to the IRS.  Stickler pleaded guilty to failing to pay $17,389.25 in employment and FICA taxes for the fourth quarter of tax year 2007, but the plea agreement states that Stickler also admitted to willfully failing to pay over employment and FICA taxes to the IRS for other periods during the tax years 2006 through 2010, and that the total tax loss that can be used for sentencing purposes is $100,899.90. 

In a separately filed federal case, Stickler was convicted by a jury on March 24 of theft of public money.  The evidence presented to the jury in that case was that in 2007, Stickler’s company, Faith Based Solutions, received $500,000 in federal grant money to teach non-profit organizations how to apply for federal government grants.  Stickler drew down all of the grant funds in the first seven months of the grant period, and instead of distributing the money to sub-grantees, he put it in accounts that he controlled and used it to pay large salaries to himself and family members, to take elaborate vacations, and for other items that were not approved by the grant.

Sentencing in both cases will be on Feb. 9, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du.

The cases were investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.  They are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla B. Higginbotham.

Updated February 4, 2015