Gainesville, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - Mac Johnson, 50, of Newberry, Florida, pled guilty yesterday afternoon to tax fraud, wire fraud, structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements, and harboring undocumented aliens. The guilty plea was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Johnson, who owns roofing, tree service, and dumpster businesses, devised a scheme to conceal the amount of wages earned by his undocumented alien employees to avoid paying more than $1.7 million in federal income, Medicare, and social security taxes, as well as more than $1 million in Florida worker's compensation premiums. Johnson concealed the wages from the State of Florida by inaccurately and incompletely identifying all employees, representing that lower wages were paid than the true amounts, and paying by cash or a non-payroll check in amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid reporting requirements.
The investigators discovered that undocumented alien employees on work sites did not speak English or have any personal identification. Their names did not match the names on the insurance policy, and their files contained employment eligibility verification forms that did not match their handwriting. Johnson also provided transportation to the work sites and rented residences he owned to the undocumented workers for which he deducted money from their pay.
The potential penalties are:
Failure to collect and pay over taxes: a maximum term of 5 years in federal prison;
Wire fraud: a maximum of 20 years;
Structuring: a maximum of 10 years; and
Harboring undocumented aliens: a maximum of 10 years.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 29 at 2:00 p.m. at the United States Courthouse in Gainesville.
This case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory P. McMahon is prosecuting the case.
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