SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the owner of two Ozark, Mo., businesses has been sentenced in federal court for willfully failing to pay over hundreds of thousands of dollars in employment taxes.
Kerry W. May, 65, of Ozark, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips on May 29, 2014, to one year and one day in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered May to pay $94,485 in restitution (on the unpaid interest), in addition to the $373,200 in restitution that May has already paid.
On Oct. 3, 2012, May pleaded guilty to two felony counts of failure to collect, or to truthfully account for and pay over employment taxes for his two corporations, Spring Creek Antiques, Inc. (with approximately 25 employees) and Riverview Antique Center, Inc. (with approximately 10 employees). As corporate president of both businesses, May failed to account for and pay over the employees’ trust fund portion as well as the corporations’ portion of the employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
May admitted that, from 2003 through 2009, he engaged in a deliberate scheme to avoid reporting or paying the trust fund taxes on approximately $373,200 he withheld from his employees’ paychecks. According to court documents, May withheld taxes from his employees’ pay, but simply pocketed the funds without reporting the withholding to the IRS or making the required trust fund payments.
May personally maintained the books and records for both businesses, which operated as S-corporations. May, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, has been a senior tax advisor with H&R Block and previously had an H&R Block franchise. He also served as an enrolled agent, representing clients in their dealings with the IRS.
To perpetrate his scheme, according to court documents, May calculated and issued bi-weekly paychecks to employees, including himself and his wife. The paychecks included detailed withholding information. Therefore, May was clearly aware on an ongoing basis how much employment tax was due.This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.