James and Theresa DeMuro of Bridgewater, N.J., were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to 44 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Judge Thompson also ordered the DeMuros to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $1,337,952.12. A jury had convicted the DeMuros of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and 21 counts of willfully failing to pay over employment taxes. Today’s sentencing follows an April 23, 2012, order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed the convictions but remanded the case for resentencing.
According to the indictment and evidence introduced during trial, the DeMuros co-owned and operated an engineering and surveying firm called TAD Associates LLC dba DeMuro Associates. From 2002 through 2008, they withheld employment taxes from their employees’ paychecks but failed to pay more than $546,000 in taxes to the IRS. In addition, they operated under a prior entity name DA Resources Inc., which they ceased operating in an effort to thwart the ability of the IRS to collect unpaid employment taxes related to that entity.
At trial, the government introduced evidence that, beginning with the first quarter of 2007 through the last quarter in 2008, the defendants paid employees’ wages and withheld employment taxes from paychecks but did not pay any of the employee withholdings to the U.S. Treasury. In addition, the DeMuros withheld funds from their employees’ pay checks for health insurance, child support and retirement savings accounts, and failed to pay these funds over to the appropriate entities.
Evidence was also introduced that the DeMuros converted withheld funds for their business and personal use, including more than $280,000 in purchases from QVC, Home Shopping Network and Jewelry Television.
Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, commended the IRS Criminal Investigation special agents who investigated the case as well as Tax Division Trial Attorneys Tino M. Lisella and Jessica Moran, who prosecuted the case. Assistant Attorney General Keneally also thanked U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman and his entire office for their assistance.