Webster Business Owner Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud For Failing To Report Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Income To The IRS
BUFFALO, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Michael MacPherson, 57, of Kenmore, NY, who was convicted of mail fraud and tax evasion, was sentenced to one-year supervised release by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. MacPherson was also ordered to pay $95,000 in restitution to the victim and $125,673 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. Kruly, who handled the case, stated that in January 2017, MacPherson solicited an individual (victim) from Kansas to invest in a bulk cigarette deal, telling the individual that he had an agreement with a Native American tribe in New York State to purchase cigarettes at a discounted rate and resell them at a significant markup. MacPherson claimed a $75,000 investment would result in a 15-20% return within 90 to 120 days. The individual sent MacPherson a check, but he did not buy cigarettes, instead spending the money on payments to the Niagara Falls Country Club and Canisius High School, airline flights, hotels, car rental, utilities, retail purchases, gas, clothing, groceries, restaurants, and other merchants. In December 2017, MacPherson contacted the victim again to solicit a $20,000 investment for the purchase of carbon fiber, representing that the individual would receive his principal investment, in addition to a 30% return, within 180 days. The victim sent MacPherson a check and once again he did not use the money as stated, instead using it to pay a defaulted business loan, cash withdrawals, airline flights, car rental, utilities, retail purchases, gas, groceries, restaurants, hockey tickets, and other merchants.
In addition, MacPherson failed to file a federal income tax return for the tax year 2015 despite receiving gross income totaling approximately $265,254, including approximately $232,500 from a second individual. Once again, MacPherson used the money on personal expenses. For the 2017 tax year, MacPherson omitted approximately $80,156 in gross business receipts. The amount of tax loss to the United States is $93,815.00.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Boston Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Ketty Larco-Ward, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso.
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