El Paso man arrested for allegedly failing to pay employment taxes


Date: May 23, 2024

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

El Paso, TX — An El Paso man was arrested in El Paso on criminal charges related to his alleged failure to account for and pay trust fund taxes.

According to an indictment, Edward Dean La Puma, founder and sole proprietor of a local business called 77 Stone, allegedly failed to truthfully account for and pay the trust fund taxes due to the IRS on behalf of his employees between March 2018 and January 2023.

La Puma is charged with 20 counts of failure to account for and pay over trust fund taxes. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison for each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington for the IRS Criminal Investigation Houston Field Office made the announcement.

IRS CI is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Micaela Glass and Chris Skillern are prosecuting the case.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.