Joplin Woman Sentenced for Failing to Pay Employment Taxes
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Joplin, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court yesterday for failing to pay over employment taxes.
Karen Lauridsen, 61, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 14 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $242,251 in restitution to the IRS for delinquent employment taxes.
On Nov. 8, 2022, Lauridsen pleaded guilty to failure to pay over employment taxes. In or about 2003, Lauridsen and another individual purchased Company A, with Lauridsen serving as the President of Company A. In her role as president, Lauridsen was solely responsible for Company A’s finances, including, payroll, tax preparations, tax filings, and paying employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011, Company A became delinquent on both the trust fund and employer portions of its employment taxes. The Internal Revenue Service began collection efforts by at least September 2017, including an in-person meeting between Lauridsen and a Revenue Officer on September 13, 2017. During that meeting, Lauridsen admitted to the officer that she was responsible for paying Company A’s employment taxes. However, she did not pay the balances due. As a result, in January 2018, the IRS began levying Company A’s known bank accounts, as well as Company A’s customer payments, with limited success.
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Special Agents interviewed Lauridsen on November 28, 2018. During the interview, Lauridsen admitted to the agents, as she had in her earlier interview, that she was responsible for Company A’s finances, financial decisions, setting employee pay rates, filing the company’s tax returns, and paying the company’s taxes. Further investigation revealed that during the time period that Lauridsen ceased paying Company A’s employment taxes, Lauridsen frequently gambled at casinos in Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, and Oklahoma. Lauridsen’s gambling persisted despite the IRS’s collection efforts and its criminal investigation.
As a result of her conduct, Company A incurred an employment tax liability with the Internal Revenue Service of $242,251, which Lauridsen was ordered to pay as a part of her sentence.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Kempf. It was investigated by the IRS-CI.
Updated July 27, 2023