Former KC Group Home Operator Sentenced for $400,000 Tax Evasion Scheme
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former operator of several group homes for mentally and physically handicapped residents in Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced in federal court today for a nearly $400,000 scheme to evade paying taxes.
Dedree R. Carlisle, 52, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to two years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Carlisle to pay $397,213 in restitution.
On March 9, 2016, Carlisle pleaded guilty to attempting to evade taxes. Carlisle owned and operated a group home health care business at multiple locations in Kansas City, Mo., from 2005 until her business shut down after her guilty plea. Originally Carlisle’s business was called “Carlisle’s Garden of Peace” but she changed the name in 2009 to “Mracles Residential Care.” Mracles cared for mentally and physically handicapped residents in a group home setting, leasing multiple houses in residential neighborhoods, under contracts with the Missouri Department of Social Services. Mracles had between 12 and 20 employees at its multiple residences.
Carlisle admitted that she engaged in a scheme to defraud the IRS and the state of Missouri for the purpose of evading payment of at least $397,213 in federal and state taxes, penalties and interest, beginning in 2006.
Due to Carlisle’s failure to file returns or pay taxes, according to court documents, the IRS opened a civil investigation of her business, but she continued to miss deadlines and pay over taxes she withheld from her employees. Carlisle made her last voluntary tax payment in September 2009, of $1,000. The IRS issued a levy on her bank account in October 2009, seizing $29,885. Two months later, Carlisle informed the revenue agent that her business was shut down. The agent later learned that Carlisle had registered a new business, Mracles, in her daughter’s name – but except for the new name, the business remained the same. It had the same employees, same group homes, same clients, and Carlisle continued to sign the payroll checks. As with Carlisle’s Garden of Peace, Mracles continued to withhold employee taxes and not pay them over.
Carlisle failed to pay over employment taxes totaling $131,649 for her residential health care facilities from 2008 to 2010. Carlisle withheld state and federal taxes from her employees’ paychecks, and then used that money for her own personal benefit. She also failed to pay over the business portion of the employment taxes. She also failed to pay taxes on her own income – she earned $64,500 in 2009 and $65,000 in 2010 and paid no state or federal income taxes. Additionally, she claimed personal unpaid federal taxes of $28,561 for 2011 - 2012.
According to court documents, Carlisle was repeatedly notified of the amounts of her substantial taxes, penalties and interest due. Carlisle was notified in June 2011 that she was the subject of a criminal investigation. Up until her business shut down after her guilty plea in March 2016, Carlisle continued to withhold employee taxes and spend them for personal use. And she has made no payments on any taxes, personal or employment, during the investigation or after pleading guilty.
Carlisle admitted that she gambled heavily, including at 7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kan., with funds debited directly from her business accounts. Carlisle used her business accounts as her personal charge accounts. She did not report, on her tax returns, many of these personal expenses as income, including charges for thousands of dollars made on business debit cards from 2006 through 2010 at Kansas City area casinos. Carlisle spent a total of $127,165 at 7th Street Casino from 2008 to 2010. Casino records show that Carlisle had winnings of $320,200 in 2010, $145,200 in 2009 and $29,219 in 2008.
Carlisle also wrote checks to herself from her business bank account in 2010 with references in the memo line to payroll, bonus, draws or advances totaling $65,000.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Missouri Department of Revenue.