Colorado businessman pleads guilty to tax evasion


Date: January 25, 2023


DENVER — Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division announced a Colorado man pleaded guilty to attempting to evade the payment of more than $700,000 in employment taxes owed to the IRS.

According to court documents, Frank Stevens, of Bow Mar, co-owned restaurants and an oil production business, which had employees from whose paychecks he withheld income taxes and Social Security and Medicare taxes. From at least 2002 and continuing for many years, Stevens did not pay over the withheld payroll taxes to the IRS or file the required payroll tax returns for his businesses. In an effort to prevent the IRS from collecting the taxes he owed through bank levies, Stevens kept the balances of his personal and business bank accounts low, often leaving them with only $0.01. To do so, Stevens, or an employee acting at his direction, transferred just enough funds to cover expenses and then transferred any remaining money to a bank account not subject to IRS levy. In total, the defendant caused a tax loss of approximately $737,128.

"Business owners are obligated by law to withhold the proper amount of taxes from their employees' wages and pay those taxes over to the IRS," said Andy Tsui, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Denver Field Office. "Payroll tax evasion is not just a crime against the United States Government, but also a crime impacting employees as it results in the reduction of their benefits."

Stevens is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Defendant also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Peter J. Anthony and Julia M. Rugg of the Justice Department's Tax Division are prosecuting the case.