West Virginia business owner pleads guilty to failing to pay employment taxes
WASHINGTON – A Fayette County, West Virginia, business owner pleaded guilty today to failing to pay over employment taxes, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Carol Casto for the Southern District of West Virginia.
According to documents and information provided to the court, from 2008 through 2012, Steve Lopez, 68, owned and operated Ready Transport Services (RTS), a transportation business that mainly provided taxi services. From 2009 through 2012 he also owned RTS Ice Cream, Coffee and Candy Shop. Both businesses were located in Montgomery, West Virginia. Lopez was responsible for collecting and paying over to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) social security, Medicare, and income taxes withheld from his employees’ wages. He also was responsible for paying the employer’s share of his employees’ social security and Medicare taxes. Lopez admitted that he did not pay approximately $393,851 in employment taxes due to the IRS, including funds he withheld from his employees’ paychecks as well as money he owed as their employer.
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Thomas E. Johnston scheduled sentencing for March 14, 2018. Lopez faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Casto commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Alexander Effendi and Mara Strier of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.