Johnstown Couple Pleads Guilty to Tax Violations, Fraud and Money Laundering Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania
JOHNSTOWN, PA – Two residents of Northern Cambria, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal tax, anti-fraud, and money laundering laws, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.
On August 2, 2023, Sarah Stiles, age 38, and David Bachik, age 52, both of Northern Cambria, PA pleaded guilty to two counts each before Senior United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
According to the criminal Information, Stiles served as Vice President of Life Changing Support Services (LCSS), a business located in Northern Cambria that provides housing to individuals with intellectual disabilities. As Vice President, Stiles was personally responsible for the withholding and payment of employment taxes related to LCSS employees. In connection with the guilty plea, in the quarter ending in December of calendar year 2019, Stiles, did willfully fail to truthfully account for and pay over to the Internal Revenue Service payroll taxes due and owing to the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of LCSS employees in the amount of $21,284.89. Additionally, according to information presented to the Court, Stiles admitted to willfully failing to account for and pay over a total of $2,063,544 in employment taxes between March 2013 and December 2019.
Further, on or about August 2, 2019, and continuing until February 26, 2020, Stiles and Bachik, knowingly and willfully did conspire, combine, confederate, and agree with one another to commit wire fraud. According to the criminal Information, in and around 2019, Stiles was removed as a signature authority from LCSS bank accounts, but remained in her role as Vice President of LCSS. Stiles and Bachik believed that Stiles was being unfairly compensated as compared to other LCSS officers/employees. Thus, it was the object of the conspiracy for Stiles and Bachik to embezzle and steal LCSS monies for themselves. Accordingly, Stiles and Bachik devised a scheme by which Stiles would direct payments from LCSS to a fake company controlled by Bachik, and Bachik would disburse the stolen money to Stiles and himself. To that end, in 2019, Stiles and Bachik agreed to form “Stonewall Business Management” a fictitious company to be used to receive payments from LCSS. Stiles deceived LCSS into believing that LCSS was a legitimate business that offered worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. From on or about July 3, 2019 to on or about February 28, 2020, Stiles deceived LCSS into issuing twelve cashier’s checks totaling $56,308.10 to Stonewall Business Management, which Bachik deposited into bank accounts held in the name of Stonewall Business Management.
Additionally, on or about August 14, 2019, Bachik, did knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct a financial transaction affecting interstate commerce which involved the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, knowing that the property involved represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity and knowing that said financial transaction was designed in whole or in part to conceal and disguise the location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity. That is, Bachik withdrew from one Stonewall Business Management bank account $9,000 in LCSS funds that had been provided to Stonewall Business Management as a result of the fraud scheme.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for December 6, 2023. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Arnold P. Bernard, Jr. is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, and Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, conducted the investigation that led to the successful prosecutions of Stiles and Bachik.
Updated August 3, 2023