Crystal Lake man pleads guilty to federal income tax evasion


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Date: November 9, 2020

Rockford, IL — A Crystal Lake, Ill., resident pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston to federal income tax evasion, announced Acting Special Agent-In-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.

Gary T. Petersen, of Crystal Lake was president and sole shareholder of Petersen Sealcoating and Paving, Inc., a business located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. According the written plea agreement, during 2016 Petersen deposited checks received by PSPI as payment for its services and products into his joint bank accounts with family members and a family members’ account that he controlled, instead of PSPI’s business bank accounts. Petersen also cashed checks PSPI received as payment and personally retained the cash, with the intention of excluding the money from income reported by PSPI to the Internal Revenue Service. For the calendar year 2016, Petersen provided PSPI income information to his tax preparer, but concealed checks to PSPI that he deposited into his joint and controlled accounts, and the checks he cashed. On March 23, 2017, Petersen caused a false United States Individual Income Tax Return - Form 1040 with schedules and attachments – to be filed, stating the he and a co-filer had taxable income for the 2016 calendar year of $75,028, and that the amount of tax due was $10,919, when Petersen knew he and his co-filer had taxable income of approximately $1,174,261, and the additional amount of income tax due to the United States was approximately $402,431 for the 2016 tax year. Petersen also admitted that during the years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, he engaged in the same acts, underreporting PSPI’s income and his personal income on 2 tax forms for those years that would have resulted in additional tax due of $33,216 in 2012, $82,388 in 2013, $146,853 in 2014, and $356,230 in 2015.

Petersen faces a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release of up to 3 years following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater. The actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines. Sentencing for Petersen is set for Feb. 17, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.