Former St. Joseph Business Owner Pleads Guilty in $1.5 Million Tax Fraud Scheme
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former St. Joseph, Mo., business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in a nearly $1.5 million tax fraud scheme.
Dinorah Lynn Stoll-Weaver, 49, of St. Joseph, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to failing to pay over employee payroll taxes to the IRS.
Co-defendants Dawn Langlais (Stoll-Weaver’s sister), 59, and Langlais’s daughter, Jennifer Sturgis, 38, both of St. Joseph, have also pleaded guilty. Langlais pleaded guilty to failing to pay over employee payroll taxes to the IRS. Sturgis pleaded guilty to making false statements on a tax return. All three defendants also admitted that they failed to report their income on their personal federal income tax returns.
From 2001 through early 2010, Stoll-Weaver owned and, with the assistance of Langlais, operated Homeward Bound Health Services, Inc., a home health provider located in St. Joseph. In 2010, Homeward Bound’s name was changed to Silver Linings, Inc., and nominee owners were put in place who signed the checks but made no business decisions. Stoll-Weaver and Langlais continued to operate Silver Linings until it closed in 2013.
Langlais employed her daughter, Sturgis, and other relatives at Homeward Bound and Silver Linings.
Homeward Bound and Silver Linings withheld and collected federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes from employees and then kept those withheld taxes instead of paying them over to the IRS. The total criminal tax loss attributed to Homeward Bound and Silver Linings for failure to pay employment taxes due and owing from 2001 to 2012 is $1,459,727.
Homeward Bound and Silver Linings also withheld from employee paychecks and kept child support payments, employee IRA contributions, and medical and dental insurance payments. The theft of these payments had negative collateral consequences for their employees.
Stoll-Weaver, Langlais and Sturgis admitted they received income from Homeward Bound and Silver Linings, which they failed to report on their individual federal income tax forms, and as a result, underpaid their federal income taxes.
Stoll-Weaver willfully failed to make an income tax return or pay personal income taxes from 2009 to 2012, for a total personal tax loss of $34,264.
Langlais willfully failed to make an income tax return or pay personal income taxes from 2010 to 2012, for a total personal tax loss of $56,860.
Sturgis willfully failed to make an income tax return or pay personal income taxes from 2007 to 2012, for a total personal tax loss of $148,347, including relevant conduct.
Additionally, from 2009 to 2012, Stoll-Weaver and Sturgis each claimed personal federal income tax refunds, knowing that Homeward Bound and Silver Linings had not paid any income taxes to the IRS.
Under federal statutes, Stoll-Weaver and Langlais are each subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. Sturgis is subject to a sentence of up to three years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation.