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Owner of Nevada Home Health Care Firm Sentenced to Prison For Employment Tax Fraud

Concealed Income and Assets from IRS Collection

A Las Vegas, Nevada, business owner was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for evading payment of employment taxes and penalties, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson of the District of Nevada.

Maria Larkin, 55, was convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury in Las Vegas in June. According to the evidence presented at trial, Larkin owned and operated Five Star Home Health Care Inc. (Five Star). Larkin was responsible for collecting and paying over income, social security, and Medicare tax withheld from her employees’ wages. From 2004 through 2009, Larkin did not pay over to the Internal Revenue Service the employment taxes she withheld. As a result, the IRS assessed trust fund recovery penalties (TFRPs) against Larkin for these years, which made her personally liable for the unpaid employment taxes.

Larkin concealed her assets and income to evade paying the TFRPs and to obstruct the IRS’s efforts to collect the outstanding taxes. She lied to the IRS regarding her ability to pay, changed the name of her business, placed her business in the name of a nominee, had her employees cash checks for her, and bought a home in the name of a nominee. In total, Larkin evaded more than $1.6 million in taxes.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan ordered Larkin to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $1,153,633.50 in restitution to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Elieson commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney John T. Mulcahy of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra M. Michael, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.