Madison (WQOW) - A New Richmond woman is going to prison for failing to pay payroll taxes withheld from her employees' paycheck.
Stephanie M. Johnson, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Conley to 30 months in federal prison.
Johnson used to co-own Paradigm Services, which operated homes for disabled adults in western Wisconsin.
According to court records, she was responsible for all financial aspects of the company, including payroll. She withheld payroll taxes and failed to properly file and pay taxes from the fourth quarter of 2008 through the fourth quarter of 2017, resulting in a tax loss of $822,054 in withheld employee taxes and $447,784 in employer tax contributions. In addition, she stole more than $300,000 in funds from the company for her personal benefit.
Judge Conley called them "unspeakable" crimes built on a "daunting tales of lies."
He ordered Johnson to pay $300,601 in restitution to her co-owner and $1.2 million to the IRS.
"Stealing from the government is stealing from American taxpayers, and this crime was made worse by placing our most vulnerable, individuals with disabilities, at risk of losing their homes," said United States Attorney Scott Blader.
Madison (WQOW) - A New Richmond woman pleaded guilty to failing to pay payroll taxes withheld from her employees' paychecks.
Stephanie M. Johnson, 40, of New Richmond also pleaded guilty to defrauding her corporation and her business partner. Johnson entered these guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Madison Tuesday.
Johnson was the co-owner of Paradigm Services, Inc., a company in New Richmond which provides group homes and home health care to adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illnesses. She had corporate responsibility to collect and pay over the company’s payroll taxes. Paradigm Services withheld payroll taxes from its employees’ payroll checks and was required to deposit these funds with the IRS on a quarterly basis.
At the plea hearing, Johnson admitted that she failed to pay to the IRS payroll taxes in the amount of $28,323.66 on behalf of Paradigm Services’ employees for the period of October 1 to December 31, 2013, and instead kept the money for her personal expenses. Johnson also admitted that she defrauded Paradigm Services of approximately $197,230.64 by using its corporate debit cards for her personal purchases. Johnson admitted to falsely coding these purchases as business expenses.
U.S. District Judge William C. Conley scheduled sentencing for August 7, 2018.
Johnson faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the tax charge and 20 years on the mail fraud charge.
Posted September 13
Madison (WQOW) - A New Richmond woman is charged with tax crimes and mail fraud.
Stephanie M. Johnson, also known as Stephanie Heidtke, 40, of New Richmond, was the co-founder, vice president and treasurer of Paradigm Services Inc. (PSI), a company in New Richmond which provides group homes and home health care to adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illnesses.
The indictment alleges that throughout 2011, 2012 and 2013, PSI withheld $240,527.66 in tax payments from its employees' paychecks, and that Johnson, who was the one responsible, was required to make quarterly payments to the IRS on behalf of PSI and its employees.
Johnson faces 10 counts of failing to make quarterly payments to the IRS from October 31, 2011 through January 31, 2014.
Court documents also show Johnson is facing five counts of mail fraud related to a scheme to defraud PSI. The indictment alleges Johnson misappropriated $197,230.64 from PSI's corporate bank account and used the funds for her personal expenses, including meals, entertainment, clothing and other items. It also alleges Johnson miscoded personal expenses in PSI's books and records as "company expenses".
If convicted, Johnson faces five years in prison on each tax count and 20 years in prison on each mail fraud count.