With it being tax season, what better story is there than a cautionary tale on what happens when you actively try to avoid paying taxes? According to news channel ABC 6, 49-year-old Lisa L. Harper (formerly) from Dublin, Ohio, has pled guilty to one count of committing income tax evasion with the Internal Revenue Service for the 2008 income tax year. Harper could face a maximum of five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation from Cincinnati Field Office announced the guilty plea entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers.
According to court records, between 2006 and 2010, Lisa Harper owned and operated a video game retail business called Westpointe Video Games in Columbus, Ohio.
For tax years 2006 through 2009, Harper filed individual income tax returns with the IRS, along with a form Schedule C, (Profit or Loss From Business) for Westpointe Video Games. According to the court records, she "willfully underreported" her business’s gross receipts. For the 2008 tax year, Harper underreported the gross receipts of Westpointe Video Games by approximately $232,945, which resulted in a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $68,814.
In total, for the 2006 through 2009 income tax years, Harper underreported the gross receipts of Westpointe Video Games by approximately $700,000, which resulted in a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $199,950.
Harper was released on bond pending her sentencing hearing at a date to be determined by the court.
"With the April 15 tax deadline looming, it is important for people to have confidence that when they pay their taxes, their neighbors and co-workers are doing the same," said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. "Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. Individuals who corruptly violate the income tax laws to further their business interests and intentionally evade paying their fair share of taxes undermine public confidence in our tax system and create an unfair businesses advantage compared to those that play by the rules."
The moral of the story? You can't fool the IRS.
Source: ABC 6