Idaho Building Contractor Sentenced for Tax Evasion

April 9, 2013 — The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 established the IRS Whistleblower Office to incentivize conscientious informants who notify the IRS when dishonest companies and private individuals cheat on their taxes. The statute allows the IRS Whistleblower Office to pay tipsters 15 to 30 percent of the government’s recovery as a result of a whistleblower’s information. For tax fraud tips involving businesses, the reward is available regardless of the amount recovered. For tax fraud cases against private individuals, though, collaborators are eligible only when the total amount collected exceeds $2 million and when the individual’s gross income tops $200,000 for each taxable year at issue.

Idaho General Contractor’s Failure to Report Income Results in Tax Fraud Conviction

A Twin Falls County, Idaho building contractor convicted of income tax evasion has been sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $429,436. Justin D. (Corey J.) Schoenauer ran Patagonia Construction, a general contracting business that has been primarily engaged in home-building over the last ten years.

From 2005 to 2008, Schoenauer hid Patagonia’s business receipts from the IRS, instructed customers to make checks out to Schoenauer personally rather than the business and then deposited the checks into a bank account separate from Patagonia’s principal account. According to the Justice Department, Schoenauer also hid business receipts from Patagonia’s tax preparer, thereby causing the filing of false tax returns.

Waters & Kraus: Representing Tax Fraud Informants

When businesses cheat on their taxes, they do more to harm honest taxpayers and deprive the American people of tax revenue for military defense, roads, schools and health care. The tax-cheats also steal an unfair business advantage over upstanding companies that play by the rules and pay what they owe. This, in turn, deprives American consumers of the advantages afforded by fair competition in a free and open market.

The qui tam lawyers with Waters & Kraus, LLP provide whistleblowers in tax evasion cases with aggressive legal representation. We represent government collaborators throughout every step of the reporting and investigatory process. Our tax fraud attorneys are here to safeguard and maximize your interests. To learn more about Waters & Kraus, or to have a whistleblower attorney review your potential tax fraud case, email us or call 800.226.9880.

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