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Press Release

Wisconsin Rapids Business Owner Sentenced for Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Russell Broga, 51, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James Peterson to two years of probation and fined $150,000.  Judge Peterson ordered Broga to pay the fine immediately.  On October 30, 2018, Broga pleaded guilty to tax evasion for tax year 2013. 

Broga owned and operated A-1 Services Wisconsin Rapids, LLC (A-1), located in Wisconsin Rapids.  A-1 provided customers with a variety of services, including asphalt paving, asphalt maintenance, tree removal and tree transplanting.  Broga admitted at his plea hearing in October that he took customer checks and cashed them using his personal bank account, instead of depositing the income in his business bank account.  Broga then withheld these skimmed receipts from the bookkeeper and tax return preparer for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014.  The total tax evaded for those these three years totaled $147,682.  Broga paid the back taxes of $147,682 at the time of the plea hearing.

At today’s sentencing, Judge Peterson explained that imprisoning Broga did not serve the interest of protecting the safety and property of the community, due to Broga’s health issues. However, the judge told Broga that normally this type of crime deserves a prison sentence, and that morally there is no difference between Broga’s tax evasion conduct and the conduct of a car thief or drug dealer.  The judge also told Broga that his arrogance in thinking he could cheat the government of taxes whenever he wanted year after year is appalling and reprehensible.  Judge Peterson told Broga that he deserved a punitive sentence, which the court believed could be achieved with a fine of $150,000 payable immediately and two years of probation.  The court hoped that such a sentence would send a specific deterrence message to Broga, and a general deterrence message to the community that evading $147,000 in taxes will cost double that amount in back taxes and a fine.      

The charges against Broga were the result of an investigation conducted by special agents from the Madison office of IRS Criminal Investigation.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber. 

Updated December 19, 2018