Business owner pleads guilty to failing to pay two million dollars in payroll, employment taxes

 

Date: April 8, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A Lafayette County, Missouri, business owner has pleaded guilty in federal court to failing to pay over nearly $2 million in payroll and employment taxes over a four-year period.

Sandra Eller, of Napoleon, Missouri, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on Thursday, April 7, to a federal information that charges her with failure to truthfully account for and pay over to the Internal Revenue Service the federal income taxes and payroll taxes withheld and owing to the government.

Eller has owned and operated three different medical billing and claims processing companies that operated in Oak Grove, Mo., and Grain Valley, Mo. Medical Revenue Solutions, LLC, had about 20 employees and operated until 2017. Claims Professionally Reviewed, LLC, had about 50 employees and operated until 2016. These companies merged into Soerries Coding and Billing Institute, Inc., which operated from 2016 through 2019. Eller was the president and chief executive officer of Soerries Coding and Billing Institute.

By pleading guilty, Eller admitted that she willfully failed to deposit the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and Medicare (FICA) taxes and income taxes that were withheld from her employees' wages. Eller also admitted that she did not pay the employer portion of FICA.

Eller withheld the FICA taxes and income taxes, totaling $939,294, on 18 occasions from the first quarter of 2016 through the fourth quarter of 2019. Eller withheld payroll taxes from her employees' paychecks; however, instead of forwarding those taxes to the government, she kept them for her business.

In addition, Eller owed the employer's portion of the FICA taxes, unpaid federal unemployment taxes, employment tax due for the third quarter of 2019, and state tax withholdings that were not paid over, all of which total $1,051,699.

In total, Eller's criminal conduct resulted in a tax loss of $1,990,993.

Under federal statutes, Eller is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Cooper. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.