Owner of Oklahoma City Employer Organization Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – JANIS ANN EDWARDS, 67, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, pled guilty last Friday to tax evasion, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
According to an indictment returned by a grand jury on June 22, 2016, Ms. Edwards was the sole owner of Corporate Resource Management, Inc., and a number of related companies with their principal place of business in Oklahoma City. These companies operated as "professional employer organizations," or "PEOs." In essence, they served small businesses in the central United States by, among other things, taking on responsibilities for paying their employees’ payroll and collecting and paying payroll taxes to the IRS. The employees of small businesses became employees of one of Edwards’s entities, and their payroll taxes were to be paid under the tax identification number of one of those entities.
The 23-count indictment alleges that Edwards failed to pay substantial amounts of payroll taxes collected from small businesses that had contracted with one of the CRM-related entities. The 23 counts relate to quarterly payroll tax returns filed by Oklahoma Corporate Resource, Inc.; Missouri Corporate Resource, Inc.; and Texas Corporate Resource, Inc., for various quarters in 2010 and 2011. The indictment alleges that Edwards regularly and intentionally directed her own employees to alter these quarterly tax returns to reflect less payroll tax liability than what was actually owed. For the 23 quarters identified in the indictment, Edwards is alleged to be responsible for $6,387,399.09 in unreported payroll taxes.
Last Friday, Edwards pled guilty to evading approximately $1 million in taxes owed by Missouri Corporate Resource for the fourth quarter of 2010. U.S. District Judge David L. Russell accepted her guilty plea based on her admission in open court that she knew that the company’s quarterly payroll tax return falsely underreported federal income tax due when it was stamped with her signature and filed with the IRS.
Edwards faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and the costs of prosecution. In a plea agreement, she has agreed to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for related tax losses, which she agrees are between $3.5 and $25 million. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.
This case is the result of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott E. Williams and Jessica L. Perry.
Reference is made to court filings for further information.